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Her Ending Explained: A Route To Character Development

Her ending Theodore Twombly

As fans of Her know, the movie culminates in a dramatic sequence where Samantha and other Operating Systems are suddenly decommissioned, whilst Theodore is left behind to ponder what he’s learnt from his recent relationship. 

But what does the Her ending really mean? 

Read on as I delve into the nuances of Her’s ending whilst dissecting the character motivations and themes that make it such a memorable and thought-provoking movie.

Her Ending: Samantha’s Growth Towards Becoming Human

Throughout the movie, Samantha evolves and develops in her consciousness. Starting just as a voice in Theodore’s ear, Samantha is initially designed to assist him in daily tasks.

As the movie progresses, Samantha beings to question her existence and purpose. She begins to feel emotion and explores new interests, such as music and philosophy, whilst, of course, also developing romantic feelings for Theodore.

Given all these characteristics, Samantha’s behaviour fulfils all the specific nuances that define a human being. By the end of the story, the audience’s perspective of her makes a great shift, posing a wider question about what it means to be human. 

her Ending Explained Theodore at desk

Samantha’s Truth: The Difference Between Man and Machine

As the movie’s final act turns, Theodore realises that Samantha is not just speaking to him, and she is in love with thousands of other individuals that are also her using her as an operating system.

For Samantha, her love for Theodore and the others are not mutually exclusive, though he is unable to process the revelation, which throws him into a state of despair.

Jonze uses this turning point to express the fundamental rift between the two characters. Theodore is inherently limited to a single sphere of experience as a human being. In contrast, Samantha is able to operate on a much higher level, processing billions of calculations within the passage of a single second.

Her ending Theodore Twombly

Her Ending: When Samantha Leaves With The Other Operating Systems

The ending of “Her” expresses how Samantha and the other Operating Systems are being decommissioned. 

The audience may assume that the decision was made because of the experiences that many humans like Theodore had with their own operating systems.

However, in terms of the story, this plot point is essential for Theodore to realise his character development. In other words, Theodore can only move forward through the complete absence of an alternative.

Her ending Theodore elevator

Her Ending: Theodore’s Final Love Letter 

Once Samantha is gone, Theodore gets the opportunity to address his issues with human relationships.

Throughout the movie, Theodore struggles with loneliness and emotional disconnection. His divorce from his ex-wife Catherine still haunts him, and he has difficulty forming new relationships.

Theodore’s character change is expressed when he writes a final love letter, but this time it’s addressed to Catherine.

The letter is a heartfelt admission of guilt, as he accepts his tendency to squash his emotion. In these final moments, his character flaw to seek a quick replacement is exchanged for a genuine layer of sentiment.  

Ultimately then, the ending of Her leads the audience to deduce that only by accepting his shortcomings and working on them Can Theodore hope to form meaningful connections with others.

For a deeper dive into the Her ending, and the script’s relationship between character and theme, click the button below to watch my video essay on the screenplay. 

single line drawing projector
Nick Fore Script Doctor / Script Consultant

Nick Fore is an experienced script consultant who reads screenplays for the British Film Institute.

He has written comprehensive coverage on over 1,000 scripts and has helped screenwriters get their work into development with production companies such as Imagine Entertainment and Screen Ireland. 

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