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Lone Wolf Analyzes "Being John Malkovich"

Dan Klizano is what many would call a cinephile, as he's something of a film critic that gives his take on various movies both old and new.


A film that redefines the art of film making

In a modern movie era where cliche films like "Happy Gilmore," "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and "Billy Madison" are popular occasionally a completely original film comes along like "Being John Malkovich." The movie stars very talented actors such as Cameron Diaz (Laudia), John Cusack (Craig), and John Malkovich (himself). The movie is a serious fantasy/drama placed in our own modern world. "Being John Malkovich" is one of the most original movies that we'll be remembering for years to come because of the plot, acting, and directing.

The movie's plot concerns a struggling puppeteer, Craig, who is forced to get a file clerk job because his mediocre career thus far in being a puppeteer is failing. One day at work, he discovers a hidden door within the office the building that leads into the head of John Malkovich. Craig tries to use the doorway to benefit himself throughout the movie, both personally and financially by selling ticket to ride through John Malkovich's head. Unfortunately, Craig soon discovers that this dream of being John Malkovich becomes an obsession.

The story line is the most intriguing part of the movie because of its originality. The concept of the story may be difficult for some people to grasp, but the movie raises the significant question of what it would be like to go inside someone else's head, especially someone famous. At one point in the movie, John Malkovich discovers this doorway, too, and ventures inside to see what lies inside the doorway. This scene, where John goes inside his own head, is probably one of the best parts of the movie. John Malkovich goes into his own subconscious mind and finds himself in a world where everyone is him.

I think John Cussack, John Malkovich, and Cameron Diaz deliver very powerful and compelling performances that made the movie great. Although, Craig tried to cheat on his wife in the film, we feel sorry for the guy at the end of the movie. John Cusack plays a character who falls in love with his coworker, Maxine. Maxine's impression of Craig is that he's a big loser and wants nothing to do with him. Maxine eventually stars dating John Malkovich in the movie, so Craig goes to great lengths to try to control Malkovich like a puppet just to be with her. Cameron Diaz plays Craig's wife, Laudia, in the movie; she ventures into the mind of John Malkovich as well. When Craig tells Laudia about the door that leads into John Malkovich's head, she's a bit skeptical. Eventually, Laudia decides she also wants to go inside this doorway, for herself. She accidentally ends up going into Malkovich's mind, on a few occasions, while he's having a date with Maxine. At one point in the movie, Laudia goes into Malkovich's head while he is having sex with Maxine. This causes, Cameron's characater, Laudia to become a lesbian and she falls in love with Maxine as well. Malkovich showed a more natural and realistic performance of what someone might do if he were to discover that there was a doorway into his head.

I think the director did a great job on this movie. The way the story is presented is like nothing you've seen before. The overall feel of the film didn't feel like you were watching a movie but a real life event. From the way the movie starts out with John Cusack's dramatic display of puppeteering imitating life to eventually becoming a puppet himself, in a matter of speaking, is truly breath taking.

Overall, the movie, "Being John Malkovich," will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride and leave you speechless. One moment, you'll be laughing at John Malkovich when he enters into his own head and finds himself in a world full of people who look like him. Leading up to the final scene, you'll be saddened by how how at the end of the movie Craig becomes trapped into a unique prison for the rest of his life. If you just have a fine tatse for movies then you'll love it. this movie may not be for the faint of heart, but it gives you an original experience that most modern films fail to deliver like "Batman and Robin" or the "Waterboy." "Being John Malkovich," is truly an original movie in its own right and is definitely one of the best films of the nineties.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Dan Klizano

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