Being John Malkovich

Watch Being John Malkovich

"Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can."
  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 7.7  (351,516)
  • 90

Being John Malkovich is a 1999 surreal comedy-drama film that follows the life of Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a failed puppeteer who takes a job as a filing clerk in an office situated on the 7½ floor of a building. One day, while filing papers, he discovers a small door behind a filing cabinet which leads him to a tunnel that leads him to the mind of the actor John Malkovich.

Craig initially keeps this discovery to himself and only shares it with his co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener), who he is also infatuated with. They both decide to commercialize this strange world and charge people for the privilege of experiencing the sensation of being John Malkovich.

Things begin to get even more complicated when Craig's wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), becomes obsessed with the experience of being John Malkovich, leading to a love triangle between the three protagonists. As the plot develops, the characters delve deeper into the complexities of the human psyche and the relationship between identity, desire, and control.

One of the most notable aspects of Being John Malkovich is the original and imaginative plot, which plays with the boundaries of reality and fantasy. The film uses its premise to explore questions about gender identity, power, and the desperate desire for control over one's life. The central characters are all driven by their own insecurities and yearnings, whether it be Craig's unfulfilled artistic ambitions, Maxine's manipulative tendencies, or Lotte's deep-seated desire for fulfillment and love.

The performances in Being John Malkovich are outstanding, particularly from John Cusack in the lead role. Cusack is able to convey the frustration, confusion, and fear that come with discovering a new world with subtlety and nuance. Catherine Keener is also superb as the cynical and manipulative Maxine, while Cameron Diaz delivers a surprising and brave performance as the animal-loving Lotte, who undergoes a startling transformation throughout the course of the film.

Director Spike Jonze, in collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, creates a surreal and irreverent world that is simultaneously funny and unsettling. The film has a distinctive style that blends absurdity and satire with poignant and heartbreaking moments. The visuals are also a standout feature, with the production design and cinematography capturing the claustrophobic and surreal qualities of the film's world.

The original score composed by Carter Burwell is also a highlight of Being John Malkovich. The music is eerie, whimsical, and intensely emotional, contributing to the film's overall atmosphere of chaos and surrealism.

Being John Malkovich is a film that defies easy categorization. It is a complex and thought-provoking exploration of identity, desire, and the boundaries of the mind. Despite its many surreal and absurd elements, it remains a deeply empathetic and human story. It is a film that rewards repeat viewings and invites audiences to interpret its meaning in their own ways.

Being John Malkovich is a 1999 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 90.

Being John Malkovich
Where to Watch Being John Malkovich
Being John Malkovich is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Being John Malkovich for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (351,516)
  • Metascore