When You Believe, Can Anything Happen?

WARNING: Contains spoilers !

Being John Malkovich ; A movie that depicts what it would be like if people could climb into a portal of some sort and find themselves in the mind of the great John Malkovich.

Wikipedia will tell you John Malkovich is“an American actor, producer, and director. Over the last 25 years, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures”.

This time, he has appeared in this film as a “fictionalised version of himself”. Alongside John Cusack (one my personal favorites, with his sister Joan), Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, Malkovich manages to convince the audience, not only of his own character, but of the others who enter his mind. (He plays multiple roles, if you will.)

What really makes this adventure seem like a reality is the way the writer, Charlie Kaufman, and director, Spike Jonze, have captured our trust which gives them the power to make us believe whatever they please. However, you can’t just swallow the steak whole. You’ve got to bite smaller pieces off it, right? That’s why they make the audience believe small fabrications, making them bigger and bigger as the movie continues.

For example, in the beginning we meet a husband (Cusack) and wife (Diaz). They seem an odd couple, but who isn’t in their own way?

We trust and so, believe.

Then we find that they live with a large amount of animals in their small apartment, including a dog, lizard, bird and chimp that has “psychological issues that stem from its childhood”.

We trust and so, believe.

We then stumble upon the portal to John Malkovich’s mind. By now, we are attached to and empathise with Craig, Cusack’s character, and so…

We trust and so, believe.

These leaps of faith take us to even larger ones that we could not have fathomed without being taken over by Kaufman and Jonze from the very beginning.

Apart from the plot, the movie is capturing too. John Cusack plays his role faultlessly. Cameron Diaz is unrecognisable as she becomes her character. John Malkovich, well, he’s John Malkovich! Catherine Keene plays her twisted role quite well too. She’s torn between being in love with a woman and being a hard ass who always wants to be in control. Her tone changes so effortlessly between both sides of her that we could see her as two completely different characters. With these serious and brilliant roles, there is also some comic relief with the secretary and her hearing impediment. The characters compelling performances help take us to where the unbelievable seems real.

An example of this would be when we learn that people can live forever from vessel to vessel, from John’s ancestors to his descendants. However…

We trust and so, believe.

We are them shown that by the end of the movie, the ever so desperate-in-love-with-Maxine-(Keener’s character)-Craig manages to slip into Maxine’s daughter’s mind using the portal as she is Malkovich’s offspring. Honestly, this was quite a leap of faith and acceptance for me, however, it leaves you with such philosophical thoughts like:

What is real, how do we know it is and who told us it is?

Should we believe what we are told by “them”?

Is there scope for more? More than we’ve ever imagine?

Who made the boundaries?

Where are the boundaries?

Are there boundaries?

Is the impossible… possible?

For the most mind-shattering experience ever, watch Being John Malkovich.


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: