Spike Jonze did it again, he really amazed me once more with colorful pictures, silent tones, an emotional complex story and wonderful characters. Once again he didn’t collaborate with Charlie Kaufman, who wrote the scripts for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation but for the first time he showed that he can manage a story like this very well by himself.
Samantha: The past is just a story we keep telling ourselves.
This story is playing in a not so far future and in the middle of it there is a man called Theodore. He is a writer, not an author but a writer of letters. We see that he is quite lonely, miserable and very unhappy and we hear that he got divorced recently. He wanders around, kills his spare time with visits to museums and other places. One of these days he gets curious about a new operating system, which is told to be the best on the market. He buys it and installs it on his home computer. He answers some questions during the setup phase and it is decided that the voice of the operating system is female.
Amy: We are only here briefly and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.
From this very moment on he learns that the artificial intelligence of his operating system amazes him each day. First he talks to her like shy boy, quite unsure how to address this being. Later on, step by step he gets more and more confident in talking to her, sharing memories and discussing different topics. One thing leads to another and the story of drama, love, passion and trust appears on the stage.
Amy: Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.
It wouldn’t be a movie by Spike Jonze if this was your typical love story. He takes us on a very strange journey. The audience is able to share the feeling from the very beginning, that this is strange, being friendly greeted by your operating system and feeling quite comfortable with and around her. First she starts by helping to get the files and emails in order, then the photos and by doing that talking about personal things in life. For me this was like the typical beginning of falling in love with somebody. She does that with a lot of charm and humor, she comforts him and she shows how much she cares about him. He loves talking to her, loves to have her around, even when walking on the street where he uses the camera to include her in his life.
I have to say that it helps so much that Scarlett Johansson was cast for the role of Samantha, Woody Allen was right when he talked about the strong and charismatic voice of her. She gives the computer voice character like only a few people would be able to accomplish.
In the first half of the movie we see how he feels better and gets along with the world, even tries to connect with old friends again and make some new ones. Spike Jonze shows us a perfectly functioning relationship, we even see other relationships in comparison and we also see the reaction of his ex-wife when he tells her.
When the story comes closer to an end it changes, the mood and … but see for yourself. It was quite difficult, but isn’t always like this with good love stories?
Theodore Twombly: I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved you.
Samantha: Me too. Now we know how.
Apart from all that I also learned something by watching this movie. It surely is quite obvious from the very beginning that this story plays in a near future. This is not the dystopian end-of-the world vision like in many other movies, we see no robots, computers who have taken over the world and we also see no poverty or wars going on. We see a future where the human race works with the gadgets and lives with it. The society integrated all the tech-gadgets into their life, without questioning themselves if there is anything dangerous about them. The mood is supported of the interior design of the 60s, in which time period many countries and their societies were faced with a similar situation. New things appeared on the market and promised to make life easier, and from one moment to another they were found in every household and made their life easier.
Theodore: She’s not just a computer.
Nowadays it is a bit different, we use the gadgets quite often but there are many who are afraid of the dangers they bring. Their voices are loud and speak truths and lies. Especially gadgets that supposedly reduce our interaction with each other. I do not know if it was on purpose but this move somehow triggers these questions, he doesn’t give answers but he showed me something. Apart from how or who we love – we will always love. We are humans in the end – over the centuries we built new things, extraordinary gadgets and sometimes terrible machines but in the end we loved.
In the end it is a movie about love and how easily we can fall in love.