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500 Five-Star: Being John Malkovich (1999)

December 30, 2012

I waited a long time to see Being John Malkovich.  I used to work in a video shop and always meant to get it out, but never got round to it. I recorded it off the TV one time, and then ended up deleting it when I found myself a whole season behind on Grey’s Anatomy and rapidly running out of space on my Sky+.  When I started working through the Bs in this project, it was one of the first to be sent by LoveFilm, and finally, I thought the time had come.  It had…for twenty minutes, at least, until the DVD stopped working, and had to be sent back.  It took five months for it to be sent back out, and by this time, I was so sick of the thought of ‘Being John Malkovich’ that it took me another six weeks before I could be bothered to give it another try.  All in all, we’re talking about nine years from when I originally contemplated watching it, before finally getting round to it.  And you know what?

It was not worth the wait.

Not even remotely.  Because, I’ll be totally honest: I didn’t get it.  What’s worse, I didn’t care about getting it.  I didn’t care about the horrible characters in their horrible little world, I didn’t care about the ‘dazzling’ originality, I didn’t care about the nonsensical and downright stupid story, and I didn’t care about what it had to say.  I. Just. Didn’t. Care.  And you know, I like filmmakers to try something new.  I like interesting premises, and I like to see a fresh approach to storytelling.  What Being John Malkovich boils down to, though, is a grotty little story about awful, selfish people-just one that has had a load of stupid ideas flung at it in an attempt to BLOW PEOPLE’S MINDS.  It didn’t feel like intelligent, brave filmmaking, but simply the work of somebody who wishes he was a provocative and clever auteur, and proves himself instead to be a transparently desperate and boring hack.


You already know I’m not going to agree with Empire.  However, because the performances (by some of my favourite actors, alas) were impressive, I’m going to be generous and mark it a little higher than the film as a whole really deserves…


One Comment leave one →
  1. axonmanage permalink
    December 31, 2012 4:12 pm

    Wow. You know, I’ve always been iffy about this movie, and now it all feels justified :D. Yeah… I don’t think I’ll watch it at all now. Ever 😀

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