Being John Malkovich (VHS, 2002)

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A Work of Art!

May 23, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great cast

Cons:Weird!

Being John Malkovich is one of those few movies that totally defies description. In most video stores, you will find it in the comedy section, and that's only because when it's over you will laugh at how absurd and oddly entertaining the whole ordeal was.

The movie is about a puppeteer played by John Cusack. He finds himself in need of a job, and finds there are not puppeteer positions available. After scanning the classifieds, he finds an ad for a company looking for someone with "fast hands". Cusack cleans up and goes to the building, only to find that this company is on the 7 and 1/2th floor, where the ceilings are only 5 feet high. When asked why the ceilings are so low, it is explained to him that the lower overhead keeps costs down. Sounds absurd, right? The whole movie is like that.

After several quirky little characters and mishaps, Cusack drops a file behind a cabinet. In moving it out of the way, he finds a small doorway in a wall. Opening it reveals a long dirty tunnel that looks somewhat like a drainpipe. Crawling down, Cusack is sucked to the end of the tunnel and inside the mind of the actor John Malkovich for 15 minutes. When the time is up, he appears out of thin air and drops onto the ground near the New Jersey turnpike.

This movie is about getting to be someone else, and the 15 minutes is an obvious reference to the old saying "15 minutes of fame". What begins to happen is that Cusack, the puppeteer, finds the ability to control Malkovich while he is inside his mind, and so Cusack starts to live vicariously through the actor - eventually taking over his life.

This is a strange, strange movie from one of the most creative directors in music video history - Spike Jonze - who brought us the Beastie Boy's Sabotage, among others. The art direction is wonderful, and the music fits the situation very well. This is one to watch in a group, then discuss when it's over.


Recommend this product? Yes


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