What would being John Malkovich be like? He's one of the most respected performers of the time, a great actor, and from what I've heard, an interesting character. Maybe that's why he is the title character in Being John Malkovich, a weird, twisted story about a man (John Cusack), his wife (Cameron Diaz), a woman that both of them are infatuated with (Catherine Keener), and an actor with a portal inside his head located on the seven and a half floor of a corporate building (John Malkovich). It's weirder than it sounds.
First off, every performance in this film is great. Cusack plays a puppeteer on the verge of insanity and probably suicide who has no real morals and has no ambitions in life other than to be a puppeteer, and maybe screw Maxine, a woman he's met at his new workplace. Keener plays Maxine, the sexy driver of the newfound business of selling fifteen minutes inside John Malkovich's head, who is the love interest of Cusack, Diaz, and Malkovich. Diaz is Cusack's bum of a wife in the film, who finally sets herself apart from her typical characters of blonde beauties and delivers a great performance of a suddenly transsexual female.
Of course, this movie has to be seen to explain itself, but it has a weird story, weird characters, and an original idea that could easily win itself an Oscar. John Malkovich plays a version of himself, but also plays himself as being controlled by Cusack. I am sure he had fun being himself, and making fun of himself. Of course, the greatest part in the movie is where Malkovich goes through the portal into his own head and ends up... Well, you have to see it to find out.
The only disappointing thing about the film is that between the blatantly humorous parts there are some slow parts, and the sexual aspects bore thin at the end. I can see this film as at an hour and a half, not a full two hours. Nevertheless, on a whole, Being John Malkovich is a new, innovative, and twisted look in to the weirder side of a writer's brain, and Malkovich's.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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