Monday, March 9, 2015

Her, Relatability, & the Difficulty of Society

So last night I was rewatching Her. The first time seeing it, I found it to be a relatable, humorous tale showing the reasons why people get caught up in their gadgets (including myself) while acknowledging the wonderful things they can do that can justify such. The second time however, was when I truly realized how poignant this movie is not just the way we interact with our tech, but why people such as myself have such a hard time sticking with other people.

For starters, I'm gonna bring up the scene where Theo (Joaquin Phoenix) blind dates Olivia Wilde, only to be put off because she thinks he's creepy. The odd thing is, Theo up to this point does not do anything aggresive towards her, yet by remaining completely passive he ends up scaring her off. Throughout life I have struggled in taking initiative with others, for similar reasons, and after seeing this I realized how difficult it has always been for me to go beyond passive and thought about how I may have missed opportunities of my own. Then we have the scene where Theo tries to perceive peoples' entire lives from his first glances, to which I can relate in the sense that I only try to look for people who aren't neophiliac to the point their knowledge begins and ends with the current fads of pop culture, quickly cycling the old out for the new in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. In other words, I cannot stand the people who sit comfortably in bad pop music and Chuck Lorre sitcoms because they do nothing to challenge themselves, and therefore feel I can gain no enrichment from such a crowd, so watching Theo try to figure out people in a similar manner yet never feel comfortable enough to interact with them also struck a familiar chord. Spike Jonze won a well-deserved Oscar for this screenplay, as his insight into modern relationships is so spot-on with current struggles such as my own that I learned that it wasn't my struggle alone for trying to find a place in society. Rather, this is a shared struggle of our generation: the immediacy of the internet has let us observe people at their worst along with their best, pushing us apart as much as it has brought us together. Sometimes those lows are unbearable to think we can actually have certain pieces of human excrement, yet the opposing highs can feel justifying to know some people still have some integrity withstanding.

After a second rewatch, I'm not quite sure how I may resolve my own loneliness fully, but seeing it addressed so thoughtfully at least reassures the reality of my own struggle and that it is a shared difficulty. Perhaps Her is not a film meant to answer how to find a comfortable place in society, but as an address to why we want one yet why we struggle so much with it, it is a poignant masterpiece, and quite easily the most remarkable film of 2013.

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