Spike Jonze’s I’m Here (2010)
Sheldon (Andrew Garfield) is a lonely robot living in LA, where he works as a librarian. His life is repetitive and melancholy, until he meets the cute, but troubled humanoid Francesca (Sienna Guillory). Sheldon falls in love with Francesca. They go to parties and concerts together, but one night something goes horribly wrong and Francesca loses her arm. From there things escalate, until the inevitable end.
I’m Here is a sweet little short written and directed by American visionary auteur Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich). Even in this short film all of Spike Jonze’s trademarks are present, especially his unique mood. Jonze’s creates a strange, bizarre, dreamy, almost surreal atmosphere. It’s difficult to put my finger on what it is exactly he does or how it makes me feel, but it is emotionally intense and makes you feel all sorts of feelings at once. It’s overwhelming at times, but definitely rewarding.
With his light touch and sensitive direction, this is a soft, quiet film. A soothing classical score, the hippest rock tracks and a warm cinematography courtesy of Adam Kimmel (Never Let Me Go). The film’s aesthetic is something to behold, so is the costume design and the seamless computer generated imagery: Both help the characters come alive and make them sympathetic.
I really connected with this film. It was an immersive experience. A charming story and a lovely lead. The robot was more relatable than the humans in this story. It’s very romantic, but at the same time the physical damage Sheldon goes through in it might be read as metaphors for emotional dependency. By the end of the film Sheldon has ‘disappeared’ into Francesca. So even if he seems to be happy, because he’s not alone anymore, should he be? Is the end of the film really the end? A good exploration of destructive relationships, that I wish could have been developed in a feature film.
Rating on First Viewing
(on our Sony Bravia, with my brother)
8 out of 10