Evoking comparisons to Spike Jonze’s Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix fell head over heels for an artificial intelligence voiced by Scarlett Johansson, the first trailer for indie melodrama Operator has dropped.
Not to be confused with last year’s cop thriller of the same name, Logan Kibens’ feature is a much more intimate affair – more intimate than even Her because unlike Jonze’s near-future hit, this is a movie that is much more human in nature. At a loss of how to replace the digital voice used in his call center program, Martin Starr’s anxious programmer turns to his nearest and dearest (Mae Whitman) to lend her vocal chords as the new Operator. What starts off as a runaway success soon warps into an introspective drama, with Starr’s lead becoming dangerously attached to the perfectly calibrated version of his partner, thereby putting a massive strain on their real relationship.
It’s like a melodramatic twist on an episode of Black Mirror, and one that looks to feature a stunning performance from Whitman as a woman who quickly becomes in over her head. She’s not without her faults, though, drawing upon the shortcomings and insecurities of her significant other for her own stand-up routine in a set-up that’s an intriguing, if slightly disconcerting portrait of modern-day relationships. Here’s the lowdown on the script co-written by Kibens:
An anxious programmer enlists the help of his empathetic wife when given the task to create the perfect call center program. However, their relationship spirals out of control when he begins replacing her with an ideal computerized replica.
Look for Operator to roll out via limited release on November 8.