Sunday, 3 October 2010

Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999)

Being John Malkovich (1999) Poster

Cast: John Cusack, John Malkovich, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener

Summary: A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the mind of the movie star, John Malkovich

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Drama

Beware there be spoilers!!

This is the second film that I have watched as part of my surrealism course in my A-Level Film Studies class, where we used another of Freud’s theories to analyse a particular scene from the film.
We analysed the scene where Maxine and Lotte enter Malkovich’s subconscious discussing Freud’s theory of what happens in your childhood effecting you adulthood.

The scene begins with Maxine entering Malkovich’s subconscious before being followed by Lotte. They end up in Malkovich’s childhood where we see a young Malkovich watching his parents have sex, this could possibly affect him in his later life as he may become sexually obsessed.

The next room we enter shows us a teen Malkovich being bullied in the locker room by his fellow students. In this scene you can see that the teacher is condoning the behaviour of his students by taking part, and the fact that Malkovich is naked during this ordeal could definitely have an effect on his confidence in adulthood.

Upon the entering the basement Maxine discovers a young Malkovich who has been locked in and is repeating the words “I am bad” over and over. Maxine then sees Malkovich as an adult smelling ladies underwear through a grate in the wall. His behaviour seen here can clearly shows that he has some unresolved sexual issues most likely partially caused by the experience of watching his parents have sex.

Being John Malkovich (1999) Still

The next room we enter shows an older teen Malkovich with his girlfriend, at first nothing appears to be wrong but as Lotte continues to chase Maxine we hear the girl say, “You’re creepy”. The final place we are taken to within Malkovich’s subconscious is a school bus from his childhood, where he has wet himself and all the children are singing “Little Johnny Malko-pee, wet his pants so all can see”.

My Rating: 6/10
One Final Word: Good

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