Have you ever imagined how it would feel to live someone else’s life, even for a little while? You can fetch examples of video games, but that’s a debate for another day.
Being John Malkovich is such a film you need to watch in case you’re pondering such things, and if you watched it and are confused about the whole story, we’ve got your back.
In the below article, we will explain the plot, ending, and how Being John Malkovich is a satire of many modern world perspectives.
Being John Malkovich: Plot and Ending Explained
Being John Malkovich, released in 1999, is a fantasy comedy that could easily pass as a parody, but it is also a brilliant film. The story is about an unemployed puppeteer named Craig living in New York City.
Even though he is married to Lotte, a pet-obsessed woman, their marriage has never been peaceful but instead filled with loneliness and guilt. Eventually, Craig finds a job as a file clerk in the Mertin-Flemmer building on a floor where the ceiling is very low.
While working under Dr. Lester, Craig eventually develops feelings for his co-worker, Maxine, who doesn’t return his feelings. One fine day, he discovers a mysterious tunnel that places him inside the mind of John Malkovich, a famous actor, and gets ejected after fifteen minutes.
After experiencing such a strange phenomenon, he tells Maxine about it, and she comes up with the idea of making money using it. After offering the experience of Malkovich’s life for 15 minutes for $200, Craig’s wife, Lotte, is the first to try it.
As the trials go back and forth, Maxine eventually falls for Lotte in Malkovich’s body, and they ultimately fall in love with each other. After being forsaken by both women, Craig locks Lotte in a cage, inhabits Malkovich for a longer time with his puppeteering skills, and blackmails Maxine to stay with him.
Eventually, Malkovich discovers that his body is constantly inhabited by someone else, but it is too late. Lotte is soon freed, but since Maxine is attracted to only Malkovich’s body, she abandons her and begins to live with Craig, who is now inhabiting the body.
Lotte, jealous, eventually learns that Dr. Lester is the solution to her problems and later finds out that he is Captain Mertin, who discovered the mystery portal in the 1800s and has been moving from one body to another to live forever.
Once the vessel body reaches the age of 44, he can take over his consciousness and successfully live one more life, but there’s a catch. He must enter the portal before midnight, or he will be trapped there forever.
After learning from Lotte that Craig has taken control of Malkovich’s body, Dr. Lester joins hands with her and kidnaps Maxine, only to learn that she has conceived a baby. However, she did that while Lotte was still in Malkovich’s body.
During the entire confrontation, Maxine and Lotte cement their love for each other, while Craig, who still believes that Maxine is in danger, leaves the portal only for Dr. Lester to take over it successfully.
Before he can jump back into the portal, it becomes too late, and Craig is now trapped inside Emily, Maxine’s daughter, who is also selected as the next vessel.
Being John Malkovich: Is The Film a Satire?
Seeing as the film emphasizes human life’s deepest desires and how greed can consume someone, it works better as a message. However, Craig’s story indicates that even if you love someone wholeheartedly, they will leave you in the dust if you’re not sincere.
In that sense, Being John Malkovich is a parody of love on how Craig was left trapped in the next vessel’s body forever. Meanwhile, its basic premise also hints at how ordinary people want to live the life of famous personnel, implied by all the characters who inhabited Malkovich’s body.
So, yeah, since the film was created from the humor viewpoint, it can also be considered a parody, but it depends on how the viewer perceives it.
What do you think about this compelling and original film? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.