Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed สาธารณรัฐเช็ก Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, both making their feature film debut. Craig Schwartz is an unemployed puppeteer in a forlorn marriage with his pet-obsessed wife Lotte. Gaining a file clerk job through Dr.
Mertin-Flemmer Building in New York City, he develops an attraction to his coworker Maxine Lund, who does not return his affections. Craig discovers and enters a small door hidden behind a filing cabinet, and crawls down a tunnel. Suddenly he is quickly drawn into the opposite end of the tunnel, and finds himself in the mind of actor John Malkovich. Craig is able to observe and sense whatever Malkovich does for fifteen minutes before he is ejected and dropped into a ditch near the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig tells Lotte, who becomes obsessed with the experience, which had allowed her to live out her transgender desires.
Lotte becomes attracted to Maxine when she is experiencing Malkovich, and she and Malkovich begin a sexual relationship with Lotte inside Malkovich’s head while Maxine and Malkovich have sex. Soon Craig, with his expert puppeteer skills, discovers that he is able to control Malkovich’s actions while in his head. This causes the actor to feel paranoid that he is being controlled by someone else. After Malkovich consults with his friend Charlie Sheen, Malkovich trails Maxine to the Mertin-Flemmer building, where he himself tries the portal into his own head. Lotte escapes with the help of her pet chimpanzee, who learned how to untie knots in Africa during a zoological capture, which is shown viewed from the chimpanzee’s point of view.
Lotte phones Maxine, revealing that it was Craig having sex with her while inside Malkovich. Maxine is annoyed but accepts it, because she enjoyed the experience. Lester is aware of the portal, and has a room dedicated to Malkovich’s life. Lester explains that the person who is connected to the portal becomes “ripe” for lasting occupation by others on the eve of their 44th birthday.
However, when the host turns 44, the portal immediately moves to its next host, an unborn child. If it is possible for a person to take advantage of the “ripe” host and enter the portal then, one can greatly increase one’s lifespan, and then one can eventually move on to another host. However, if one misses the brief window of “ripeness”, and enters the portal even a minute too late, one will find oneself trapped within the unborn child who will be the next host. Craig finds he is able to remain in Malkovich indefinitely. He spends the next eight months in Malkovich’s body, and using his puppeteer’s control, he is able to turn Malkovich into a world-class puppeteer. He learns that she is pregnant as their relationship grows distant.
As Malkovich’s 44th birthday approaches, Lester and his friends cut a deal with Maxine, and fake her kidnapping. They call up Craig, threatening to kill her if Craig does not leave Malkovich. Craig ends the call, causing Lester to think that he is calling their bluff. Lotte loses hope and attempts to kill Maxine, but they end up at the turnpike after falling through the portal and through Malkovich’s shame-ridden subconscious. Craig calls Lester back, thinking Maxine is still in danger.
Realizing his opportunity, Lester continues his bluff, convincing Craig to leave Malkovich’s body. Lester and his friends enter the portal, taking control of Malkovich. Craig, discovering that Lotte and Maxine are together again, decides to enter the portal to become Malkovich and regain Maxine, however he has unknowingly missed the deadline for getting into Malkovich. Kaufman’s idea of Being John Malkovich originated simply as “a story about a man who falls in love with someone who is not his wife. Malkovich was “nowhere to be seen”. Jonze first read the script in 1996 and had agreed to direct the film by 1997.