Technology that promises to give us connection returns precisely the opposite — the illusion of relationships. When you watch Theodore Twombly fall in love with an artificial voice, he strikes out to be very close to your world living with gadgets that has abandoned natural feelings like love and pain. He’s your futuristic image but not that intimidating enough to stir in you a realization- are we losing ourselves as humans by relying on technology for something as essential as love?
Theodore serves as the wall between the dystopian world and its burgeoning love affair with technology. Theodore is the hero without being a hero whose story revolves around his struggle with isolation and loneliness and how he tries to come out without the help of human connections.
Adapting to an increasingly technological world is possible but not all adaptations are good for us. Even the animals at the zoo become shell-like empty and neurotic and then dull themselves down to the conditions.
This modern world is so indifferent to emotions that it alienates people like Theodore who desperately need affection in the wake of his tragic separation from his partner. He free floats for a time until he re-attaches to an advanced operating system, Samantha.
But he makes a point that we are all on the edge of losing ourselves here. As technology slips its way between us through smartphones, we are facing an impending doom of an empty shallow existence eventually.
Theodore feels questioned when Samantha talks about her omnipresence and how she mocks the inevitability of human “death”. And this is where technology surpasses real, authentic, reciprocal interactions with other humans.
Right from the beginning, you’d find Theodore running for love and care which strikes him out as someone who knows his inability to handle real emotions. He is easily identifiable, just a dynamic character- the result of the human experience of being changed by technology.
It’s only until Theodore realizes his one-on-one relationship with Samantha (read: machine) was a mere “illusion” that his self-reflection becomes fearful of real emotions.
And quite naturally, as a viewer, you’d know it’s okay to leave someone behind and that Theodore will be okay even if it takes some time. Because it’s all part of the human condition, the love and its trials, all these we go through and feel as flawed beings.
As Samantha continues to evolve in the “space between words”, Theodore begins his life on the rooftop with his friend Amy, in the final scene.
What a relief! There we witness the intimacy of a biological man and a biological woman breathing together for a minute, connecting for real. Knowing and being known. For real. Whatever the heck that means, we feel it and we know it because we’re humans.
Though Theodore leaves silently, I can hear him mumbling – What would we do if we were depressed and our connections to reality were lost; until a voice came, understanding us, listening to us, being there for us, loving us?
What would you do? Would you fall in love?
Not only the movie and it’s plot is endearing, but the intimidating message it carries transcends time as well as generations.
Do watch and feel his emptiness for once!