What makes a movie truly great? We can debate about this topic forever. But primarily I’d say, at the end of the day if watching a movie changes you or at least leaves a great impression on your mind, it can be called great. And Spike Jones’ Her is one of those films. It never leaves you once you have watched it. Her is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing movies ever made. And most of its credits goes to the cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema. It has a fluffy mood, with light coming around the frame at times which makes you feel like you are right there experiencing the warmth and love. If you haven’t seen Her yet, go watch and try for yourselves. And for those who watch the film and loved it, here is the list of movies similar to Her that our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like Her on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Theory of Everything
Anybody who has already seen The theory of everything cannot think of the movie and not smile. You liked Her, not because of the plot, not because of Jaoquin Phoenix, not because of the robot Samantha, not because of Spike Jonze’s genius or even the beautiful cinematography. You liked the movie because the sum of these parts was much bigger than the expected one. You felt love coursing through your body and it felt good. I for one, took a while to stop thinking about it. If you liked feeling like that, watch The Theory of everything. This movie is so beautiful and would still be even if it wasn’t about Stephen Hawkings. It is a period film. Eddy Redmayne, the face of everything good about this world, plays Hawkings. Everything goes wrong for him. He even gives up the woman he loves. Yet he never gives up, he still finds love for the universe. He wouldn’t have grown up to the ranks of Newton and Einstein if not for that. His eyes are so full of love for life even after everything. Watching him smile through his hardships, through his motor neuron disorder, you will never go back.
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9. Chungking Express
When was the last time Wong Kar Wai made a movie that wasn’t breathtakingly stylish and outrageously humane? Chungking express lit me on fire with its deep understanding of the human nature and the fragility of hearts. It takes a second to fall in love and years, maybe lifetimes to cope with breakups. Matters of the heart and love are extremely complex. So much that one whole month you could be eating jars of pineapple, the next day you will be in love with a woman wearing a blonde wig. Every character in the movie is broken deep down and is a pawn in the great game of love. Yet it is so much fun to watch as they fail and pick themselves up. Her is a movie snuggled up in people’s heart for the way it makes them feel about relationships and human connections. Chungking Express too, irrevocably makes you pat yourself on the shoulder for acting the way you did when in love and will revoke nostalgic memories. Each scene will take you closer to Hong Kong. Wai never fails to amaze with his ability to make great movies with simple scripts. Chungking Express made me weep through smiles at the end, I’m sure you will too. You will also never see the song ‘California dreamin’ ‘ the same way again.
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8. Lost in Translation
I wasn’t a fan of Scarlett Johansson before I watched Lost in Translation. Her role in The Prestige or even The Avengers did not do anything to me. But Lost in Translation made me cry only because I felt for Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). I could see all the emotions of her character and felt all of them because Scarlett Johansson portrayed it so well. Loneliness is raw and the most deeply felt. When one feels left out, even while people are around, it sucks out all the life in them. It is so consuming that when they find someone else with the same affliction, they reach out to them and form deep bonds with them. This loneliness and heartfelt passiveness is articulated beautifully by the friendship between Theodore and Amy in Her and Charlotte and Bob Harris in Lost in Translation. Scarlett Johansson is wonderfully beautiful and it shows really well even if only her Voice acted in Her. If you liked Her then you would love her Lost in Translation.
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I first found Paterson after an extensive search on the title ‘Movies on Poetry’. I realised, as I watched the movie that the film in itself was poetry. Mundane is such a simple word that represents everything gross about this world. Yet, from it springs beauty. Repetition becomes art. The starry night was borne out of repetitive brush strokes, paralleled to turbulence. Paterson, a bus driver, played by Adam Driver, goes on about his life, gathering heaps of Poetry, collecting words from the uninspiring routine. He leads a finite life marked by kisses, dog walks and the single beer. Jim Jarmusch, looking to put a spell on his viewers, shows them how perception decides the quality of life through a series of well crafted dialogues and moving frames poetry. Much like Her, the movie did not make use of large impressive sets or even drastic screenplay. It flows instead. It uses colours instead of composition, written poems in place of emotions. Paterson the movie, is a reflection of the man Paterson itself. Among fast moving, loudly acted, complexly layered movies, Paterson will sit in the corner of the shelf ever silently enthralling its viewers with subtle doses of love.
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6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Movies that put existential questions in your mind are forever remembered. Especially if they also make you cry. Without doubt, Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind will top the list of such movies. Separation is one aspect of love that a lot of movies try and explore. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind does it so well that halfway through, it becomes too painful to watch. Yet you’re so absorbed that you have to love that pain that comes in heartbreak. This time it’s not even yours, it is the agony of a movie character. Movies like these remind me of why I love cinema and why I do what I do for a movie. These movies became a part of me and there is no me without these characters. I can only wonder how Charlie Kaufman writes like that. How would it feel if post separation, your love erases the memory of you? You don’t even exist in that person anymore. This immense pain is made felt through the movie. You start asking some really deep philosophical questions by the end of it.
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