I’m a big fan of Spike Jonze and if you haven’t, you need to watch his earlier films like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation to truly appreciate what a great director he is.
Having said that, I was really excited to watch this movie. On the surface, this movie gives us a glimpse of where we could be in the not-too-distant future where an Operating System’s intelligence is so advanced, we could possibly fall in love with it. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a dreary writer who finds solace and love in the voice (played by Scarlett Johansson, no less) of his new OS, Samantha
On another level, this love story is heady mix of comedy and tragedy. Like most young couples, Theodore and Samantha’s relationship range from warm and tender to angry and bittersweet. As we see their relationship blossom and develop, we see parallels with real human relationships as they crumble and break down. The themes and emotions are identifiable and authentic because it’s so universal.
However, the second half of the film felt like it went downhill. After an hour of watching Theodore talking to his phone, it felt empty and slightly expected. If this was intentional and was meant for us to ponder the hollowness of a virtual relationship, then perhaps it served its purpose. Without giving away the ending, I felt a little let down by close of the picture. It’s not bad, but it’s like having a great starter and awesome main course, only to be disappointed by a pretty normal dessert.
Overall, it’s a really enjoyable film with some fantastic moments and riveting performances. The sound design and cinematography were outstanding and like top notch actors themselves, every sequence is a treat to take in. With a nomination for Best Picture, this film needs no further assurance to the outstanding quality of Jonze’s work. Despite my slight issues with the second half, this movie remains highly recommended.