|Being John Malkovich; 1999, Gramercy Pictures|
Director: Spike Jonze
Writers: Charlie Kaufman
Starring: John Malkovich, John Cusack, Cameron Diaz
I adore the occasional quirky, energetic and strangely eccentric film, and therefore I love Being John Malkovich. It is directed by one of my favorite directors of the last twenty years, written by one of my favorite screenwriters of the last twenty years and co-stars John Malkovich, one of my favorite actors, period. It’s a perfect collection of amazing performances, a strange and funny premise and a directorial style that fits perfectly.
The premise follows a lowly puppeteer named Craig (Cusack) who stumbles upon a hidden door in a strange office building that leads into the mind of another person. He can see through their eyes and can even obtain a certain influence. After a short time he discovers he is occupying the mind of none other than actor John Malkovich (as himself). He introduces his wife to the experiment and they both become obsessed and rather rejuvenated by the power.
This movie is NOT for everybody. It is very offbeat, written with that trademark “Kaufman” style and features the soft-spoken charm that is often associated with Jonze’s direction. Many film fans like myself have been following Jonze very closely for years, and while many have HEARD of his movies, I don’t think he has really began capturing a mainstream audience until his recent film, the awesome Her, which he also wrote. However, if you like strange, funny and somewhat twisted movies, this is an awesome find if you haven’t seen it.
If I had to pick a favorite scene, those who saw it would remember the moment when Malkovich finds out that people are actually entering his mind (I will not disclose the explanation for this) and decides to take action. The results are both hilarious and somewhat terrifying, especially if you put yourself in Malkovich’s shoes. Check this one out as it really is a brilliantly-clever, albeit bizarre film creation.