‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’: Movie Review
Sharwan D’souza 16th September 2020
A young woman travels with her boyfriend (whom she is trying to break up with) to meet his parents in their secluded farm. Upon arriving, she comes to question everything she thought she knew about him and herself. This is the basic plot of Netflix’s new Charlie Kaufman directed film. All of Charlie Kaufman’s films have a bizarre, surrealist absurdity to them; this film is no different. It tackles the themes of loneliness, love, depression, art, and there’s constant philosophical debates and questions on our existence, and on how society and the media create our dreams; and the most prominent notion of time and age.
The film is set at a 4:3 aspect ratio, courtesy of Lukasz Zal (the Director of cinematography), along with the damp colour palette that really heightens the sense of anxiety and hopelessness that builds throughout the whole film. The film takes the characters, and places them in absurd and odd situations but the actors play them horrifically real to the character; the performances by the cast, Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette and David Thewlis are simply perfect.
The movie starts off with the young woman and her boyfriend talking to each other in the car, and this goes on for about half an hour. They then reach the house, and after a good half hour there, they are back on the road. This film spends a lot of its time with the two main characters conversing in the car, and this can be seen as boring or very interesting, depending on the viewer’s taste. By far, the best thing about the movie are its horror undertones it has, that adds to the dread and misery of the whole situation; and builds up perfectly to the depressing finale.
The film lacks any kind of levity, and can be hard to get through. It is a beautiful, poignant and a mind-bending journey that is also inarguably pretentious, and is a tough balance, that it mostly gets right. This bizarre nature of the film will leave you with a plethora of questions after watching the film. But in regards to the film, the question is not ‘do we understand it?’, but ‘do we care?’. This is where the problems come in. Because most of the movie is just two people having a conversation, it can be tricky to know what it is going for; and in this case the conversations are aimed at your intellect rather than your heart. This does affect the film as a whole on an emotional level as the interactions between our main characters are almost entirely cerebral and not personal.
There’s a ton more interesting stuff to discuss from the movie. But that would require us to go into spoilers. Overall, the film is a really interesting watch; and the positives hugely outweigh the negatives. Even with a few flaws, it is a very unique experience that will get your brain running.
Edited by Pratheek S