Monday, 15 June 2015

Being John Malkovich(1999)

Spoilers Alert!

This is one of the most original films ever made. Charlie Kaufman is indeed a great writer. I happened to watch his Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind first, therefore the scene which shows subconscious of John Malkovich in this film made me feel that it was so similar to the subconscious shown in ESOTSM. This film is very pregnant with symbolism. Now I feel that I should watch other Kaufman films too.


This film is a brilliant dark comedy. Most of us fantasize about being someone else in our lives. We wonder how it feels to be inside someone else's head--this is the premise on which this exceptional fantasy film is based. This film also reminds me of the brilliant horror mystery Skeleton Key--because of the similarity of the characters who wanted to live forever using body vessels of others. This film too is slightly disturbing--but it's a dark comedy at best; whereas Skeleton Key was a haunting masterpiece horror.



As I started watching the film--I felt as if I was reading Alice in the wonderland again. The most fascinating scene for me was--when John Malkovich enters into his own head. There is a certain similarity to the horror films where you see possession and exorcism--and it's present too often in this film even compared to those horror films--so it becomes kind of disturbing. Gurdjieff--the Russian mystic used to say that people aren't same even for half an hour. This seems to be true if you observe closely. Meditation is all about being in your skin. Some yogic texts say that there are billions of souls in any space equivalent to a needle's point--at every point of space there are zillions of souls which want to use body vehicles. This is obviously an occult theory--but very plausible. There are positive as well as negative souls and depending upon the type of vessel you provide--which means state of your body mind--you attract either positive or negative energies.

Neuroscience says that these are disorders where people don't remember themselves--some of the acts they do are forgotten completely. Actually the question is never raised when people do good acts--either out of habit or without. The question comes into the picture only when acts are perceived as morally bad. It's only in those cases that there are people who are declared psychotic or having some serious disorder as somnambulism which made them commit a certain crime. The matter of fact according to Gurdjieff is that even good deeds might be done by you without being yourself--under possession--similar to bad deeds. If you don't have a choice to get rid of the obsession with good or bad--you really don't have a soul as Gurdjieff used to say to shock his pupils. If you could be manipulated into doing something good--you can certainly be manipulated into doing something horrible as well.The resistance or weight of carrying a soul develops only with being self-aware--by remembering yourself. 


Being John Malkovich really gives a great food for thought and discussion. I feel this is one of my favorite films now.  

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