"Spike Jonze picks up the bizarre where David Lynch left it."
Whereas the story in "The Insider" was true and based on reality, the only thing rooted in reality in "Being John Malkovich" is John Malkovich as John Malkovich. A sweet and simple synopsis would include John Cusack as a non-working puppeteer, and his wife (a frumpy Cameron Diaz in a frizzy brunette wig) as an animal shelterer. He finds work, on the 7 1/2th floor of a building in which he also finds a portal which sucks you into the mind of Malkovich for 15 minutes, and then spits you out somewhere along the Jersey Turnpike."Malkovich" is the directorial debut of commercial director Spike Jonze (who co-starred in "Three Kings"), who emanates a high level of highjinx and bizarreness at its comical best. Jonze's ideology was so inventive, warped and fleshed out, it was like being in his mind! Credit is also due to screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (no apparent relation to Andy). The film is, at many times, beyond words, and it's definitely beyond weird (Jonze picks up where David Lynch left off in "Lost Highway"), but you never feel that it's being weird just for the sake of it. One of "Malkovich's" most interesting assets is the ideology of its escapist fare. The idea of being someone else, or even seeing from their eyes for a set period of time, is an intriguing possibility, and one creatively explored on screen.
There's some great puppet work, very good "character performances" by Cusack, Diaz, Malkovich, and also a tempestuous role by Catherine Keener. If you can handle a little claustrophobia, this is the most original thing to see out there (until "Felicia's Journey" hits screens).Final Verdict: A-