Halfway through Her, you are struck by both the sweetness and the sadness of its story. You find yourself both uncomfortable with the central relationship and quite eagerly rooting for the happiness of the characters. It is in the able dichotomies evident in Her, which by all accounts can be a simplistic story, that the film shows its mastery.
Importantly, even with the simplistic core of the story, Her manages to raise many interesting questions – much more so than many of the movies touted for the upcoming Oscar race. For myself, I found myself wondering mostly about what constitutes a relationship, romantic or not – with technology, yes, but even taking aspects of that relationship with other humans. I found myself wondering about the essence of knowledge and of being. And i found myself wondering about how interaction is defined- by myself and by society. All these questions cause Her to stay in your mind long after you leave the theatre.
For that, credit needs to be given to the brilliant mind of Spike Jonze, who both wrote and directed it. Credit also needs to be given to the perfect performance by Joaquin Phoenix, the understatedly great performance by Amy Adams and the risky voice work done by Scarlett Johansson, all of whom inject believability and empathy into the story.
Her is buoyed by one of the most interesting concepts in film this year tackled in a non-formulaic way. It is also visually stunning from its scenery to its costume choices. Everything seems well thought out. While at times the script veered into convenience, which lets down the movie a bit, Her manages as a whole to remain solidly and believably plotted. It is deserving of its awards buzz.