Being John Malkovich Reviews
"Ever want to be someone else? Now you can."
Charlie Kauffman's and Spike Jonze's first team up is a complete masterpiece. This is a movie unlike any you have ever seen and is only equaled in brilliance and originality by another film that was written by Kauffman, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind. Being John Malkovich is a bizarre, eccentric, out in outer space film that is sure to turn some people off based purely on just how weird a film it is. For those who love bizarre, when it is genius, will love this one.
Craig Schwartz is a puppeteer, but there isn't much demand for his profession, so he has to take a job as a filer. While there, he finds a small door behind a filing cabinet and enters. Turns out that door is a portal into John Malkovich's mind. He teams up with a beautiful co-worker, who he is smitten for and starts selling trips into Malkovich's mind at $200 a pop. There's a lot of weirdness going on including a secretary that can't understand a word anyone says, an office on the 7 1/2 floor that is half the height of a normal floor, and a love... square.
Describing a film like Being John Malkovich is a hard thing to do. People who love, don't see it as just a weird movie, while people who hate it see it only as that. With all the weird stuff that is going on in Kauffman's screenplay, there is just as much intelligent stuff going on. Most of it is the same. There's something altogether brilliant about every single thing going on here. From looking into the mind of a chimp to having a setting placed on a floor that isn't really a floor to Keener's character being in love with Diaz's because she senses Diaz's presence in Malkovich's when they make love. You can't help but just be swept up by it all. Or at least I can't.
If you're familiar with Kauffman's and Jonze's other works, you know that both of them are in love with the bizarre. So when they get together for movies like this and like Adaption, the end result is no less than warped, but also no less than amazing.
If you want to watch something truly original in just about every facet; this is a must watch. If you don't like movies that are trying to do something outside of the routine, boring movies that are mass made each year, don't watch it. For those who can accept the films eccentricity, you'll find a movie that is made with pure imagination and love. Being John Malkovich is easily one of my favorite movies of all-time. I could watch it a thousand times and still love every single moment of it.
Excellent FIlm! I enjoyed it alot! Great acting and storyline, funny, clever and insane film. Don't worry if this all sounds a little strange to you, it should do, it's probably the most surreal film ever made. Go see it!
Craig, a puppeteer, takes a filing job in a low-ceilinged office in Manhattan. Although married to the slightly askew Lotte, he hits on a colleague, the sexually frank Maxine. She's bored but snaps awake when he finds a portal leading inside John Malkovich: for 15 minutes you see, hear, and feel whatever JM is doing, then you fall out by the New Jersey Turnpike. Maxine makes it commercial, selling trips for $200; also, she's more interested in Lotte than in Craig, but only when Lotte is inside JM. JM finds out what's going on and tries to stop it, but Craig sees the portal as his road to Maxine and to success as a puppeteer. Meanwhile, Lotte discovers others interested in the portal.
The characters are so transparently played out in this bizarre tale that it often fails to connect with it's audience on any level.
The first quarter seems like crazy on overload, then by the second half, you realise that this feeling is just the craziness straining to get off the leash. Our main Craig Schwartz is a puppeteer, specialising in, shall we say, more adult puppet shows than most streetgoers are used to catching glimpses of on a city street corner. After feeling the need to get a real job, he takes up a filing position at LesterCorp. After working on the 71/2 floor (a gag which needs to be seen to be understood) for a while, he finds something interesting about the building in which he works. Something interesting in the form of a small door which has some startling side effects upon entering. From there the film goes crackerdog with some ridiculous scenes and even more ridiculous plotlines with some great gags to boot.
At the centre of the madness is Craig Schwartz, played by an on-top-of-his-game John Cusack. Cusack really is fantastic here were in some films he might feel forced or out of place. He plays the miserable straight man perfectly and leaves plenty of room to move with great use of restraint throughout the film. Cameron Diaz is similiarly refreshing in this and helps to make you realise that, despite the typical hollywood look and not the most consistent choice of roles, she is a fantastic actress, and one with a funnybone too. As the third side of the Diaz/Cuzack love triangle, Catherine Keener excels as Maxine Lund. She makes a true character out of what could have been your typical seductress: smart, strange, confident, all that jazz. And of course, the man in the title, John Malkovich, is brilliant, playing the whiny, paranoid, uppity actor, unafraid to send himself up so entirely and so committedly. He's often good at crazy and it shows in this.
Spike Jonze's direction in this is outstanding. He makes use of some very strange angles in order to position his audience perfectly, manipulating us like puppets who can't feel the strings. Never has a dancing puppet felt so real and emotional as it has with him at its helm.
But it's the script that makes this movie so outstanding. Today, Kaufman scripts are well known to be amazing but it was this breakout screenplay that created the reputation and platform for such pieces as Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synedoche, New York. The everyday language is something to behold; a curious blend of realism and biting comedy, it takes you by surprise every time. Scenes such as the job interview are just portions of the sparkling wit surrounded by utter ridiculousness which is the majority of the film. But possibly the best thing about the script is the fact that what could have become a one-trick-pony very easily is most definitely a complete work. It may limp across the finish line but there is no doubt that the film is resolved in those last chilling moments. And, in trend-setting for any Kaufman scripts which followed after, the underlying message behind all the crazy set pieces is the thing which will stay with you the longest.
Being John Malkovich will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea. There are its lovers, and just as strong there are its haters. And even though there may be the odd misstep here and there, one thing's for sure: it's a movie experience you'll never forget. And if that's not what film is about, what is?
Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.
Don't stand in the way of my actualisation as a man!
There's a tiny door in my office.
I have no time for piddling suggestions from mumbling job applicants.
Truth is for suckers, Johnny Boy.
"Are you married?" "Yes but enough about me."
I've been very lonely in my isolated tower of indecipherable speech.
My spunk is to you manna from heaven
Shut up you overrated piece of shit!