I was compelled to watch this movie thanks to a new wave of originality that is sweeping Hollywood. I had my first taste of it with Nurse Betty, but I had to watch the spark that ignited the rest of the flame, Being John Malkovich. At the end I though that it was way original and contained the basic element of this "genre," that is: fucking weird, but good. But, I didn't find or think of it as a comedy, despite some funny moments, it was more of a drama to me.So good old Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is a down-and-out-of-his-luck puppeteer, who tries the best possible way to take care and sustain his wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz), he gets a job in this building that has low ceilings and fast hands. There he meets the sexually addicted and to-die-for Maxine (Catherine Keener). Craig likes her and wants her, despite he being married. Maxine doesn't, she doesn't like puppeteers, don't find them attractive. So Craig, all through the movie is sexually depressed.
"Weird, and Ingenuous."
Then one day, he discovers behind an archive drawer, a portal. He goes into it, and then all of a sudden, he is seeing what John Malkovich is seeing and doing. 15 minutes later, WHAM! He's thrown into the New Jersey Turnpike. He tells Maxine about his discovery and J.M. Inc. is formed, and all hell breaks loose. Lotte visits and goes into the portal and comes out a self-confessed lesbian. Then makes deals with Maxine to seduce Malkovich while she is in his mind. Craig finds out and gets jealous, and kidnaps her, triggering an interesting "war," etc, etc (Watch the rest of it).
Would you believe if someone told you or you discover that there was a portal that leads into your mind? Original, isn't it? There is some philosophical thoughts here, don't underestimate the puppeteer thing, because it's the most important to many keys that unlock the significances of the movies clues. The audience hates Craig because he is repressed more and more, most of his depression rooted on his wife, who now wants with Maxine. His ambitions made me feel more sorry for him than hated, and Lotte's actions of robbing Maxine from him in a weird and brutal way, and her lesbian-like behavior contribute more and more into his depression and utter devastation.
Now I think that Catherine Keener was good in her performance and was very believable though the mix of seeing her fucking and moaning in the screen and getting an Oscar nod bothered me a lot. That is because most movies of today are so focused in sex as more of a toy to play with than actually an art. That’s the reason why at first I thought that the nudity scenes in the film were just another excuse to show nudity just for the hell of it. But watching it carefully I realize that doesn’t seem to be the point, since it aims more towards a comedic and ridiculous focus on Maxine. Again, the originality of the script will leave you dumfounded in most times. It certainly left me at times with my head up my ass..
Anyways, the ending was as weird as anything I've seen; I guess you'll agree. The script is way interesting with some interesting twists, but at times, it was way too sexually charged. Yet, I was stunned by the way the script was made and how the idea was supported. I was still more impressed by Spike Jonze's directorial debut, since all characters acted well thanks to his direction, and in the end he pulls it off. The cinematography also helps in a way to add more credibility in some key scenes. The acting also is key in contributing to the credibility in the movie. John Malkovich playing himself is the balance of the movie, and his performance helped in a big way to make it believable.In the end, all I can say is that, again I left the T.V. pretty neutral. I still liked it though, despite some weird ingredients. I would recommend it to anyone who has a clear mind. Some will like it, and some will say within themselves: "Look away, look away, look away, look away..."
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originally posted: 12/22/00 15:37:43