WORD: puppeteer

In Being John Malkovich, Craig is a man who has a hobby of puppeteering. He makes puppets in his apartment and uses them to create a sort of separate reality, a representation of the reality he wants and can create.

OED definition:
-person who operates a puppet or puppets; spec. a person who manages or stages puppet shows. Also fig. and in fig. contexts: a person who controls or manipulates others

Craig's wife, Lottie, asks him to get a job. He takes a job working in a filing office where he stumbles upon the door to Malkovich. Craig can now take his hobby and apply it to his life; a dream he has always acted out but now gets to live. By puppeteering Malkovich, Craig is now able to live out the fantasy he always wanted. However, he involves Lottie, who becomes obsessed with puppeteering Malkovich too. Both Craig and Lottie use Malkovich to be with the woman they love, Maxine. By being in his head, each character pretends they are the representation of the person they have always wanted to be. But, as they interact through Malkovich's head, their outside selves become less defined and "real". The ability to control another person and act out their fantasies through him lead to a clearer reality. The representation becomes all-consuming, until they simply want to get rid of their self outside of Malkovich and become their "real" self inside him. Real life transforms into fakeness and the puppet Malkovich transforms into the reality Lottie and Craig have always wanted and strived for. Puppeteering, which is done by an outside force, becomes internal; it stops being pretend play and transforms into reality.

No comments: