35. Being John Malkovich (1999)

8.6 Original, funny, and thrilling
  • Acting 8.6
  • Directing 8.4
  • Story 8.9
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: John Cusack, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Director: Spike Jonze

Running Time: 112 mins

Being John Malkovich is an American film about a man who finds a portal in his office that lets you, effectively, be John Malkovich.

This film was unbelievably odd. I don’t think I’ve ever been so weirded out by an idea in a film, but this really managed to get to me. The concept was incredibly original, which really impressed me, while the story was very well-written, encompassing good comedy, drama, and this bizarre fantasy world.

Firstly, I’ll say that this film was unexpectedly comedic from the start, and luckily, it was actually very funny. What was funniest was John Cusack’s character beginning his work on the surreal 7 1/2 floor, and trying to settle in among some of the strangest people anyone could ever hope to work with.

However, the comedy died down a little as the film went on, and even though it still remained, everything else became very dark. One of the things that was most interesting about this atmosphere is that it really managed to toy with your emotions, making you feel at first that it would be fun and a good experience to see through someone else’s eyes, however the story twists that feeling into making you feel guilty for that, because you end up seeing the moral issue in taking someone else’s life from them.

That’s something that really makes this film as emotional as possible, and that makes it a lot more exciting to watch.

Finally, the whole film was rounded off perfectly by some brilliant characters. You could see that every character was completely incompatible with one another, and yet the situation they’re thrown into brings them all together, making for a good conflict and even more excitement.

And of course, these characters were fantastically portrayed by the actors in this film. Cameron Diaz, John Cusack and John Malkovich himself were all excellent, however I felt that Catherine Keener did a fantastic job of playing the seductive and cunning Maxine, and she ultimately became the unexpected central character.

Overall, I’ll give this an 8.6, because it was a hugely entertaining, odd, well-written and well-acted story about something completely original.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com