Today’s recommendation is Being John Malkovich, which came out in 1999. Being John Malkovich is the distant kind of film that comes once in a long time and can’t be compared with another. Writer Charlie Kaufman, also wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), director Spike Jonze and a well-assembled cast take us on a flawless surreal ride that is Being John Malkovich.
Craig Schwartz, played by John Cusack, is an out of work puppeteer who accepts a job post on floor 7 ½ of a building. How the floor is built and the people working there are enough to make another satiric film. Craig’s wife, Lotte, played by Cameron Diaz, is a pet store owner and their house is overrun with disturbed animals. Cameron Diaz is an actress known for depending on her looks in films, but this time she’s almost unrecognizable and depends more on her talent rather than her looks.
The floor is merely the setting for more amusement. Craig falls for his co-worker, Maxine, played by Catherine Keener. Maxine has a way as if she’s eager to interrupt you by deconstructing what you said and expose you for the fool you are, at least that what happens with Craig.
Craig discovers a small door behind a filing cabinet on the 7 ½ floor. He crawls in to the door, which turns out to be a portal to the mind of actor John Malkovich. He stays there for 15 minutes, before falling from the sky near a highway. Maxine pressures Craig to turn this into a business by charging people to spend 15 minutes inside Malkovich. This opens the opportunity for a great satiric touching film.
John Malkovich doesn’t play himself but his public image. It took some courage for him to accept this role and he adds a huge part of the magic.
Jonze and Kaufman show us how to handle many plot twists and introduce them smoothly rather than making it a cliché. It’s one of those films when the last half an hour is as exciting the first half an hour and this rare to find. I don’t want to talk more about the film so I don’t spoil it for anyone who haven’t seen it yet. I give Being John Malkovich 9/10 and it’s a definite must-watch!
If you have seen the film before, tell us what you think about it in the comments.