Saturday, November 23, 2013

Movie Review: Being John Malkovich

Nothing seems to be new anymore. These days all books, T.V. shows, and movies all seem to be the same; they all have the same basic story structure. They are all a shadow of something else, an all too familiar echo of an old sound. Half way through any movie, I bet you can predict its conclusion with a 99% degree of accuracy. We know that the good guy will defeat the bad guy in the end. We know that the guy will win the heart of his beloved with an impassioned speech about love. We know that the guy will rescue the girl in the nick of time.

By the way, what's up with women being so efficient at getting themselves captured and needing rescuing? I mean, just who do they think they are? I was planning on guzzling some Bud Lights today and watching Sports Center. I don't have time to rescue damsels. Heck, I currently can't locate my pants. Do you really want me to slay a dragon?

All jokes are the same too.

How did this come about? When did things become so stale? Is it because we, as an audience, are intolerant of unhappy endings? Or perhaps mankind's well of creativity has simply run dry. I mean, given the number of people who have lived on this Earth and bothered to think about things from time to time, is it any wonder that mankind may no longer have an original thought pop into his head ever again?

Ah, but then there comes along a movie like Being John Malkovich that is unlike any movie you've seen before. It's like a breath of fresh air in a smog of sameness. Here's a movie that's not only extremely witty, but is also extremely intelligent.

Being John Malkovich is movie that is so offbeat it's a little difficult to describe. It is about a man, Craig (played by John Cusack) who works at an office that is located between the 7th and 8th floor of a skyscraper. This makes the total height of the office somewhere around 4 to 5 feet, causing everyone to squat down and stoop around the office. Here, Craig meets a secretary who acts like he speaks nothing but gibberish and an exotic woman who desires to be worshiped. He eventually discovers a small portal hidden in the office that sucks you in and allows you to experience the world from the eyes of actor John Malkovich for 15 minutes at a time.

This movie is a comedy and what's unusual about this comedy is that it has both laughs and depth. Most comedies only go for laughter. While the movie's themes of manipulation, identity, and celebrity are nothing new, the way in which it approaches these themes is unique. I particularly like how the film suggests that some of us are only comfortable when our identity is completely hidden. The film also questions how much of our day to day lifes involve pulling the strings of others, or having our own strings pulled.

This is a surreal movie, and is one not to be missed.

Rating: 3.5/4 Stars


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