Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Being John Malkovich (1999)

Movie Review: Being John Malkovich (1999)

There aren’t many job openings in Craig Schwartz’s chosen career–puppeteering.  His animal-loving wife suggests he get a job in the meantime, so he finds one filing for an office on the 7 1/2 floor of a building.  There he finds a small door that allows whoever goes inside it to be inside actor John Malkovich’s mind, seeing through his eyes, for 15 minutes before being spit out on the roadside.  He and a woman he works with start selling trips for $200 a visit, but there’s more to being John Malkovich than meets the eye.

What a trippy movie.  It’s a little bit of a character study of loser Craig and his equally loser wife, and what it does there is excellent.  Plus you get to see Cameron Diaz being frumpy, which is worth the watch in and of itself.

The puppet scenes are simultaneously disturbing and funny, but mostly it’s just amazing that people can make puppets move so intricately.  Although the other characters laugh at Craig for “playing with dolls,” the viewer comes away with a greater respect for it as valid theater.

The plot though is what makes the movie.  It twists and turns taking the characters to unexpected places.  Everything that made me like the movie from a plot stand-point is a spoiler, so I can’t say much beyond that it surprised me, and that takes a lot.

If you enjoy head-trip movies with a touch of gentle social commentary, definitely check this one out.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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  1. January 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I love this movie! Cameron Diaz does a good frumpy in general, but this was the first one I’ve seen it in. 😉

    I honestly think Catherine Keener’s character got off lite, she wasn’t blames. Other then that I can’t help but feel sorry for poor John, what a way to live and die.

    • January 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

      What other movies is Cameron Diaz frumpy in? She does do a good frumpy.

      Also, we definitely kept commenting at how awesomely evil Catherine Keener’s character is, but overall I think the old guy is more evil…..you know why.

  2. jpetroroy
    January 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Malkovich Malkovich. Such a good movie!

    • January 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

      Yeah, it totally had a different vibe than I got from the title! I thought it’d be one of these high and mighty movies like Crash, but it’s totally not.

  3. Dizzy Dance
    January 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Charlie Kauffman is my favourite writer. I love how original this script is. Very creative.

    Thanks for checking out my blog! :o)

    • January 7, 2010 at 11:10 am

      No problem. Thanks for the return visit!

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