But then, things get very interesting. Craig by accident finds a portal into John Malkovich's mind inside of his office and decides to sell visits into the actor's being for $200 each. Other dilemmas erupt from this: Lotte falls madly in love with Maxine and uses Mr. Malkovich to take part in intercourse. Problem: Craig is also in love and resorts to very desperate measures to do the same. Maxine becomes entranced in Craig since he can actually do such things, and thus a love affair comes alive. Craig attempts to take hold of Malkovich longer than the usual 15 minutes in order to love her and also extend his first career of puppeteering to a bigger audience. Problem: the sexually alive old man Dr. Lester (Orson Bean) likes to live forever and does so by transporting from body to body, essentially reincarnation but not exactly. He also wants to transport many other old people into Malkovich. This is where the film goes off the rails and into less perfectly pitched territory.
Before, the film acts as a critique of how society has a somewhat sexual, idol-like relationship with actors through a somewhat odd metaphor. Now, the film tries to explain why this is and therefore appeal to an all-questioning mainstream audience. Plus, the way the film disturbingly ties up is disgusting and made me cringe. Yes, it's theoretical, but why does it have to be here? There are so many ways this could have worked without totally going linear like the near self-destructive end of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." Oddly, the two films are very similar, and not so oddly, the Hitchcock film is easily much better. This didn't need to be the case. The first hour is perfectly Kaufman, and how the characters fall into ballistic desperation is disturbing, but in the name of intelligence. The last 20-30 minutes cave in, and although they're not linear, that doesn't put them off the hook. B+