Thursday, 23 June 2016

''Being John Malkovich'' (1999 film)- Review

Directed by: Spize Jonze
Released: 1999
Country: United States

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5


''Being John Malkovich'' is pretty much a breath of fresh air: an extremely imaginative and original film that left me impressed and fascinated. This is definitely one of the most unique films I have ever watched.

The story revolves around three people: Craig, a puppeteer played by John Cusack, his wife Lotte, played by Cameron Diaz (in a makeup and hairstyle that almost makes her unrecognizable. I did know that Diaz was in this film and I kept looking for her and only a while later did I realize that the actress playing Lotte is actually Diaz), and Craig's colleague Maxine, played by Catherine Keener. Craig gets a job and his office is situated in the 7 1/2th floor of a huge building- this very interesting floor is situated between the seventh and eighth floors, and have low ceilings. This is fascinatingly interesting, and there is a popular (and interesting) story about why the ceilings are so low. Craig feels attracted to the beautiful Maxine, though the latter does not really pay him much attention. One day, Craig discover a portal on the wall of his office. He enters the portal, only to find himself in the mind of the famous actor John Malkovich. For ten or fifteen minutes, the portal allows the person who enters it to become Malkovich, to see the world through Malkovich's eyes. Craig is amused and tells this to Maxine: who comes up with a potentially profitable business plan: they would let people enter the portal and get into John Malkovich's brain in return for money. However, things take an unpredictably different turn when Craig tells about the portal to his wife Lotte, resulting in incidents that eventually, besides sparkling up revelations, changes the lives of all three of them.

I started watching ''Being John Malkovich'' knowing only the basic premise. I only knew that the film is something about a portal leading John Malkovich's brain. I was curious as the premise sounded pretty interesting. Once I started watching it... I was getting speechless scene after scene. The concept is so very original, so amazing! New revelations, unpredictable revelations crowd the film, and we can never guess what will happen next. No formula works in this film: each and every scene of it is something new, something refreshingly original. Each revelation is interesting.

You can probably guess that the thing I loved most about this film is the fresh and imaginative concept. Over the course of the film we get to know more and more about the portal around which the film is centered. We get to know what will happen if John Malkovich himself enters the portal. We get to know secrets about the portal. And of course, in the center of the film we have three very, very interesting characters: Craig, Maxine, and Lotte, whose lives will never be the same as they themselves go through continuous realizations and revelations that not only change their lives but are also powerful enough to leave the audience speechless and fascinated.

The performances are wonderful, of course. John Cusack is really good as Craig. Cameron Diaz, looking pretty unrecognizable, and Catherine Keener, playing Maxine, deliver unforgettable performances, making the two characters strong and believable. I found these two characters better-developed than Craig. John Malkovich portrays himself and he is wonderful.

''Being John Malkovich'' is one of the most original and imaginative films I have ever watched. Films as imaginative and fresh as ''Being John Malkovich'' are hard to find, and when found, they should be devoured and enjoyed to the fullest.

5 out of 5    

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