Being John Malkovich

fantasy / surreal

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A story that uses its characters like puppets as it explores the way lives can be driven by lust and greed. Original screenplay by Charlie Kaufman.

"Spike Jonze's crazy, surreal comedy consistently dazzles while never losing its grip on unreality. The daringly original, metaphysical fantasy still finds time to ponder the human status quo, sexual gender and identity, as down-on-his-luck street puppeteer John Cusack takes a job at a strange Manhattan firm where a small door hidden behind a filing cabinet reveals a dark tunnel that leads into the head of movie star John Malkovich. When he tells co-worker Catherine Keener about his new-found celebrity joy ride, they form a business partnership that offers jaded New Yorkers the chance to be the actor for 15 minutes at $200 a time. Super-smart, hip and darkly subversive (the sequence where Malkovich enters his own brain portal and finds a world completely populated by images of himself is a classic), Jonze's Kafkaesque mind trip is so far-out in conservative Hollywood terms it's a real shock to the system. The fact that it manages to carry its open-mouthed audience through every awesomely enigmatic turn is its greatest accomplishment." - Radio Times Review