This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ethan’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Her is weird. It's subversive, it's oddly emotional, and it's just plain weird. Ergo, a round of applause to Spike Jonze and the cast for making this subtly outlandish concept into a believable, well-made film!
A parallel could be drawn between this and Blade Runner 2049 in the matter of love with an artificial intelligence(to be honest, K was a replicant too, but replicants are more human than machine in many ways so the comparison still holds water). I'd say that Her is a much purer representation of love than BR2049 is with K and Joi, and not just because of surface-level differences, like how Scarlett Johansson's Samantha never appeared onscreen nude. It's more about how much they actually interacted heart to heart, truthfully, with unfiltered discussions and confessions and arguments and words of love. We see the development of a romantic relationship throughout most of the movie, and we see pure emotion. This is not a movie about how a human uses an artificial intelligence for their desires -- this is a love story about how an artificial intelligence feels the same feelings as her partner does. Like equals.
Scenes. They're just so beautiful here. The city lights, the movements portraying Theodore's emotions(steady when he's calm/indifferent, shaky when he's panicking/emotional), they all blend in perfectly. Joaquin Phoenix's acting is phenomenal. Scarlett Johansson's voice acting is good, although some scenes felt a bit like she was trying too much and it didn't work. Rooney Mara, Amy Adams and Chris Pratt all give solid supporting performances as well. Also, the score is just amazing. So soothing, and so emotionally charged at the same time.
The ending will . . . grow on me, I guess? All O.S.s leaving is a shocking ending, and one that left quite a few questions unanswered. I think it's supposed to be ambiguous like that. The whole point of the movie gets a little confusing, though -- is it saying that love is love, is love? Or is it emphasizing how we should move on from past relationships? Anyhow, the ending will be dissatisfying for some people, but I liked it enough. It's a poignant end to possibly one of the purest love stories onscreen.