I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) A Review

I don’t have a bloody clue what was going on in the trailer for this film, but it intrigued me enough that I just had to see it.

Certificate: 15

Director: Charlie Kaufman

Screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman, Iain Reid (book)

Starring: Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, Jesse Plemons

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world. An exploration of regret, longing and the fragility of the human spirit, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS is directed and written by Academy Award® winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Inspired by Iain Reid’s bestselling namesake novel. – Written by Netflix

I don’t think I am the intended audience for this kind of film.  And I had the same thought when I came out of ‘Mother!’ I like my films to have a coherent plot and a satisfactory ending.  And ‘I’m thinking of ending things’ has neither of those two things.  It left myself and my two friends I watched this film with completely confused.  I had to resort to google to sufficiently explain the film to me.  I don’t think I, or any filmgoer can enjoy something if they don’t really understand what they are watching.  However, this does not mean that I can’t praise the film for just about everything else.

Jessie Buckley plays the young woman, who at no point in the film is given a name and in fact throughout the film is referred to by many names.  Buckley is always a solid choice.  She is a fantastic actress and just because I didn’t understand half of what she was saying doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy her performance.  She has some tough work to do in this film, and she does it superbly opposite Jesse Plemons who plays Jake.  These two have basically the entire film on their shoulders, and they carry it well.

The film is also just beautiful to look at.  Some of the shots, particularly the ones in the snow, and the peculiar dance number towards the end are just stunning.  So I enjoyed what I was looking at, I just didn’t know exactly what was going on the whole time.

This film also does a good job with foreshadowing.  There are a lot of clues to the big reveal at the end, if you can link the poetry and quotations etc during the car ride to the books that we see later in his room.  But without that context, both the quotes and the books are completely meaningless, it really helps if you have to literary knowledge to connect the two.  I am going to have to rematch this to fully appreciate all the little connections that they made.

Not an easy watch my any means, and not a short one either.  If you aren’t a fan of bizarre films, and like me, like your plots a bit more linear, then this definitely won’t be for you.  If you are curious to check it out, ‘I’m thinking of Ending things’ is streaming on Netflix now.

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