Usually you are waiting to go, “Oh, this is that kind of a film!” It never happens.
Spike Jonze makes films about humans. I know what you are thinking. None of his films, even the ones with human faces crowding the screen actually take a route through them. Yes. He never does take a simple route. Although his film will always be effortless. Setting up the premise with an ease, is sugarcoated by sharp witty humor that does its own magic before the curtain drops too. What lies beneath is a thundering drama, zapping you with practically anyway, in any perspective you can see this head spinning concept explored with. But I don’t want to just mention his contribution to what remains a story or a film that I do not understand to this date.
This is equally the writer, Charlie Kauffman’s film. Coming from a comedic background, he can balance the humor with the drama- that he has worked exceptionally on- with his eyes closed. And it is also one of those rare screenplays that is considered to be the most unique in cinematic history and yet feels the most known and formidably a captivating show of a seen-this-seen-that humanization of the wooden faced puppets. Incredibly scary and achingly funny in what it has to procure.
And you’d think that with such unique elements that the film is embedded with, the makers would be careful. But they are instead carelessly throwing, pitching ideas left and right in this battlefield. It is basically a football game. Chaotic chase, the last run, the last whistle that is always about to blow in this section of the game, the film is exhaustingly amped up in its speech throughout the course of the film. Being John Malkovich might start off as a social satire only to evolve into what you might think as a political statement before revealing into what we call, a human nature.