"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt"
Release Date: 16 January 2014 (Malaysia), 10 January 2014 (USA)
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Written By: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde
Duration: 126 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely and depressed writer who is ignoring an impending divorce from his childhood sweetheart, Catherine (played by Rooney Mara). He purchases a talking operating system (OS) equipped with a top notch artificial intelligence. Theodore chooses a female identity for the OS, and it then chooses for itself the name Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Samantha's incredible ability to adapt, learn, and evolve just like a human-being soons creates a special bond between her(it) and Theodore. The connection that the two of them share soon grows into a relationship of love.
+ Intellectually stimulating. The mind will have a lot of thought-provoking issues to ponder on.
+ Emotionally engaging. You'll be hard-pressed not to immerse yourself into your feelings
+ A powerhouse performance by Joaquin Phoenix. I'll be rooting for him come awards season.
+ Sterling performance by Scarlett Johansson. Never before has voice-acting been so captivating.
+ Elegant cinematography. Every shot is beauty to the senses.
+ The score enhances the mood and tone of the entire film with exquisite precision. There's constantly a feel of deep exploration and awe towards the world.
+ Err.... costume design? I'm sooo in love with the movie right now that I'll even throw that in... yeah, like I really know anything about fashion! I'm probably wrong, but the style on display subtly shows that the film is a few years further into the future (which the time it is set in).
The Verdict Is In:
Some movies engages us on a cerebral level. While there a those that appeal deep to the core of our emotions. Since Her  intelligently asks questions on basic human feelings, it succeeds in achieving both. Why do we love? Why do we hate? Why don't we allow ourselves to be happy? Why do we put so much effort in perfecting things, that we forgo to just simply enjoy them? Then, we also have questions on how much involved and dependent we are with technology right now? And to what stage does this eventually evolve into? (My hunch is still Skynet and machines will rise against humans led by John Connor :P )
Although initially the love relationship obviously feel weird, as the film progresses, we will get more and more smitten and charmed by Samantha (excellently bought to life by Scarlett Johansson... probably her best role, even more than Lost In Translation  ). Sooner, rather than later, we will get the sense that the relationship is indeed an authentic and genuine one. Its like what Theodore says to Samantha in the film: "You feel real to me".
I've already said this a few times in previous blog posts..... 2013 has been an excellent year for movies. The amount of quality films been released in amazing. With the Golden Globe Awards being just a few hours away from starting (I am writing from the Malaysian time zone), Her  so far is my favorite of the lot and the one I'll be rooting for in awards season.
p/s: for someone who is a little bit of an introvert, Theodore is clearly one lucky guy... I mean girls that look like Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and the voice of Scarlett Johansson? Damn....
***Okay, that's a wrap! Samantha.... publish blog post!***
9.5 out of 10