Books and Movies Reviews

Being John Malkovich

The initial goal of many films is to establish a believable world that mirrors our own society.This is to give a legitimacy to the film, to allow the viewer to think about how similar the people on the screen's lives are to their own.Some fantasy films, in contrast, tug at the viewers' imaginations in order to transport them to a fairytale world a long ways away where a magical story takes place.Rarely is a picture set in a world comparable and mistakable to our own, yet strange and quirky. One such film that challenges viewers' glimpses into reality is Being John Malkovich, directed by Spike Jonze.The awkward world of the film is vital because it sets the stage for future peculiar events that must be accepted for the film to make its thematic statement.
The film opens in what appears to be a normal city setting.The main character, Craig Schwartz (played by John Cusack) is a down-and-out puppeteer waiting for his big break.His wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), works in a pet store and likes to take her work home with her in the form of numerous animal companions populating the Schwartz household.Other than the fact that Cameron Diaz looks strange with her brown frilly hair, a rational world is established.They are a typical young married couple, struggling to make ends meet, experiencing sexual tension as Lotte wants to have a baby but Craig does not seem to be very interested, and living in a fairly old and run-down dwelling.All in all the film creates a fairly normal and believable atmosphere.
Suddenly, strange ideas and events take place which, in the world of the film, are generally accepted without a second thought.Craig applies for a job at Lestercorp, a company that lies on the seven and a half floor of an office building.As a result, the ceilings are unusually low.During his “orientation” he is shown a film explaining in a ludicrous way why the floor was built the way it was.It is importa…