Quick-Thoughts: Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich (1999)

Jeepers, there is way too much subject matter to cover for this movie. 

I might as well just list all the heavy voyages that the critically acclaimed Being John Malcovich implores its likely-to-be dumbstruck audience on during its runtime. The bewildering story of a miserable man named Craig Schwartz, who is an inspiring puppeteer that finds a portal into the mind of legendary actor John Malcovich, explores our never-ending lust for another’s identity, the blinded praise that unfairly arrives amongst celebrity accomplishments, the burdening dilemma yet indisputable freedom of consciousness, why we experience loneliness even in the hands of company, and this reasonable idea of dualism in the human individual. Where many filmmakers would fail in stuffing so much theoretical substance into one two-hour project, Kaufman manages to project all of it fluidly through an endlessly creative screenplay while Jonze executes the visual galore with such an inclusive perception of cinematic finesse. 

On top of that, I often sort of forget how unworldly hilarious Kaufman’s scripts are while still being aware of how tragically real its significant content can be. Despite how awfully knotty the morally criminal predicaments can frankly come off as, this movie manages to be relentlessly funny. Kaufman seems to be on a whole other spectrum when it comes to how seamless he can make the two tones mesh. 

Besides maybe some bothersome, dimly-lit shots and a few noticeably underdeveloped character drives, Jonze and Kauffman have bedazzled me once again with just about every conceivable aspect of Being John Malkovich—and this was their debut so, sheesh. 

Also, automatic bonus points for closing the movie with a Björk track.

Verdict: A

“Being John Malkovich” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Hulu, and Starz.

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