Being John Malkovich by Charlie Kaufman is one of the most perplexing movies that I have ever seen. After watching the movie and discussing it in my writing class, it’s still impossible to fully explain the plot, structure, and meaning of this movie.
In two particular scenes, when Malkovich enters his own mind and when Elijah is in the jungle, confusion is conveyed in a comical and odd way. These scenes oppose the unconscious is inaccessible to the conscious mind, yet promote that the unconscious affects behavior and emotions. I plan to explore Sigmund Freud’s writings to understand the relationship between the unconscious and conscious mind.
In another scene Maxine and Craig sell ‘trips’ into John Malkovich’s mind by advertising with the slogan, “Would you like to be someone for 15 minutes? I’ve realized that Craig and Maxine are ultimately selling a way to escape the plainness of everyday life. I’m curious as why people may want to free themselves from their own reality and intend on reading into Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis to shed light upon the subject.
In one scene Craig passionately dances after he discovered he is able to manipulate Malkovich like his puppets. The realization that the portal allows Craig to become a puppet and prompts him to express himself freely in Malkovich’s body driven by his erratic emotions. I’m interested in discovering how emotions and actions are influenced by the fantasies of a person. To discover whether fantasies construct reality or reality construct fantasies, I aim to investigate Sigmund Freud’s outlook on a fantasy as a defense mechanism. Furthermore, I plan to comprehend read into Freud’s reality principle, which describes reality as the ability of the mind to assess the external world.
Throughout this movie actions or activities result from outside forces and factors, such as Craig’s actions and thoughts controlling John Malkovich. The thoughts and actions of John were not actually his but rather that of another person. This raises one more interesting question, what motivates an individual’s behavior and is there a purpose behind his or her actions? To learn more about the influence of others, I plan to writing of Carl Jung who proposed concepts of the collective unconscious, and possibly read into the impact of archetypes.
This movie illustrates several scenes that have raised questions, which I hope have impacted my audience to engage in a conversation about the movie. I’m intrigued with various concepts of psychology and interested in discovering answers to my curiosity.