Saturday, 19 March 2011

Being John Malkovich

UK Release: 17th March 2000
Watched on DVD: Friday 18th March 2011
Rating: 15
Runtime: 1hr 45mins
Tagline: Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can.
IMDb Plot Summary: A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star, John Malkovich.

Watch the Trailer here.

A Quick Review: This is one strange film. Twisted, weird and dark it is completely unique. There are essences of Donnie Darko and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in there somewhere but it lacks the optimism those movies have buried deep. 

It was hard to get my head around the ridiculousness of the film at points. For instance the mostly deaf receptionist and Elijah the chimp seemed pointless, adding slight light relief from the complexities of the main plot. 

At first it seems that married puppeteer Craig (John Cusack) just wants an affair with colleague Maxine (Catherine Keener). It is only after his odd journey into Malkovich’s mind that we begin to see how cruel Maxine is. When his pet-obsessed wife Lotte (played by Cameron Diaz who does a fantastic job) comes in, also falling in love with Maxine do things get complicated. 

There is some terrific acting in this film, so I can see why it was nominated for three oscars and won other countless awards. I also liked the bizarreness of the 7 and 1/2 floor where Craig and Maxine work. All the ceilings a really low and seeing all the office staff walk bent over is weirdly comical in a fantastical alice-in-wonderland type of way. The pace is kept up throughout and there are plenty of twists and turns meaning you never know what will happen next, which I particularly liked. 

And the ending is just bonkers.
Score: 8/10

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