Being John Malkovich

A brilliant movie? Not quite. A brilliant idea? One of the best seen in film in recent times. A truly original fairytale fantasy in a grimy modern setting that manages to avoid making that fact its only hook. Loser puppeteer (Cusack) is married to a frumpy, alien looking Cameron Diaz. In taking a job at a New York office (in a Coen or Lynch-like quirk, the floor is 7 1/2, with ridiculously low ceilings) he discovers a boarded up tunnel behind a filing cabinet that leads into the mind, soul and consciousness of the actor John Malkovich (in a sharp performance as himself). There for fifteen minutes, the traveller is ejected back to the real world in a ditch beside the freeway on the way to New Jersey.

In an outlandish development in an already bizarre plot, he and sexy co-worker (Keeney) decide to exploit the phenomenon by advertising and charging people to make the trip. When Malkovich himself gets wind of the scam, the premise is revealed. The soul of an old man is moving from vessel to vessel to stay alive forever and Malkovich is his next target. By this time, however, Cusack has taken permanent residence in Malkovich to win the affections of his colleague, who turns out to be in love - through Malkovich's soul - with his wife (Diaz).

Don't be confused, just trust me. It works. There are too many weird turns of fate and plot to list here, but the story takes its time getting through some ever stranger plot turns, and while not the best movie of the year, it would have to be the most original. Cusack again displays talent for off the wall roles in unexpected films, Diaz is almost unrecognisable and Sheen's parody of himself is priceless.

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