Being John Malkovich (***) Ė Imagine Terry Gilliam on mushrooms walking through the opening of Joe Vs. the Volcano and youíll only begin to realize the vision youíve walked in on when seeing this film. That being said, I was just as disappointed as I was fascinated with one is being tauted as one of the years best films.And thatís a shame because this movie had me glued for its first hour. And the moment John Cusack steps onto Floor 7 Ĺ of his new office building, it was probably the most exciting thing Iíve seen all year on film. A hilarious concept that only gets funnier once you hear the explanation of it. This film was smoking and I was laughing hysterically. I then got interested in Catherine Keenerís character, in what is another great performance from her. And all of this happens before the portal to John Malkovichís head is discovered. After some of the initial humor and fascination with this part of the story unfolds, itís at this point that the movie starts to unfold as well, unfolding into what, on the surface, is nothing more than a bizarre love triangle. The single highlight of the filmís second half is Malkovich discovering whatís on the other side of his own portal. That is one of the funniest scenes Iíve seen all year. I also enjoyed Malkovichís pseudo-performance as well, which is worth Oscar consideration. And I liked a celebrity cameo as a friend of Johnís. But I didnít care for, at all, what is eventually planned for the portal and this subplot nearly sinks what was so imaginative about it in the first place. This film seems to be trying to say so much that it gets clouded in its own philosophy, if thereís even one to begin with. The writer, Charlie Kaufmann, has admitted that he wrote the film without any outline or structure.I understood many of the ideas this film was throwing at me, like oneís desire to be a celebrity and the price of it, the idea of being able to control someone else, the struggle with oneís own identity and place in this world, that weíre all not that far removed from the animal kingdom, but all of this is kind of just out there and never really explored to its full potential. Itís like the filmmakers got so caught up in their own cleverness that they forgot to give us a point. A straightforward whimsical fantasy doesnít always need a point. A philosophical fantasy must deliver one.