"John Malkovich" (1999)
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Written By: Charlie Kaufman
Released: October 29th, 1999
Runtime: 112 minutes
Studio: Gramercy Pictures
In this quirky cult-favorite comedy, unemployed New York City puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) reluctantly takes a temp job as a filing clerk for the eccentric Dr. Lester (Orson Bean). While at work, Craig discovers a portal that leads into the mind of renowned actor John Malkovich. When he lets his attractive co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) in on the secret, they begin both an unusual business scheme and an odd relationship that involves Craig's restless wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz).
This has to be the most bizarre film I’ve ever watched. It makes no sense! So many questions, little answered.
I didn’t like any of the characters. I don’t know if we were supposed to? Cameron Diaz was nearly unrecognisable, I had to look twice! John Cusack is too. This was a very different film from what I’m used to seeing him in so I liked that side of it.
The longer I pondered over it afterwards the worse of a mood I realised it had put me in and for that reason, while I can’t say it was a bad movie, I just don’t think it agreed with me. What the characters did to themselves and to John Malkovich was, well, horrible. There wasn’t even much of an explanation as to how all of that came about in the first place. Why were the ceilings really so low in the workplace? They said the video that was shown was bullshit but yet no more was made of it to offer a better explanation – unless I missed it? Also, why fifteen minutes? Why John Malkovich as opposed to anyone else in the world? Why dump them out afterwards in that specific ditch at the side of the road? Maybe these questions don’t matter and I’m missing the bigger picture? I would be more than happy to hear other people’s opinions on the matter.
I did like the link between or foreshadowing of the puppets and the learning to control John Malkovich's body. It all tied in satisfactorily there. The idea seemed cool at the start of the film and the first time we saw the world through John Malkovich's eyes. But then I felt the film took too bizarre a turn and didn't go back. There were so many ways it could have gone and the way it chose....I don't know. I must be missing something after watching it because so many people consider it such a good film. It's certainly different! Something outside the box!
It's not actually a bad movie you see, I just didn’t like it. So I won’t discourage anyone from going to see it because it might appeal to others with a different perspective on the tale.