Review: I’m Thinking About Ending Things
Written and Directed by Charlie Kaufman this film dives into the concept of time throughout different parts of our lives. Kaufman took a stab at adapting the 2016 novel by Paul Reid onto the big screen or the little screen due to it only being released on Netflix. Kaufman also wrote screenplays for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004 and Being John Malkovich 1999 both available to stream on Netflix. Both also mindbending masterpieces that should be checked out before I’m Thinking About Ending Things.
I’m Thinking About Ending Things starts with introducing the couple Lucy and Jake played by Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons respectively. Both are on a car ride for Lucy to meet and have dinner with Jake’s parents, but as they embark on the road Lucy narrates and mentions how she is thinking about ending things. Lucy and as well as the audience soon find out that things are getting quite strange when they arrive at the parent’s home.
Simply known as just Mother and Father, played by Toni Collette (Hereditary) and David Thewlis respectively, as soon as Lucy steps into the house there is something off about the parents or maybe they are typical cringy parents. This is clearly shown in the trailer for this film as well as a glimpse of the plot of the film, demonstrates that this will be a dark cerebral drama. Like other work by Kaufman, this film will require multiple viewings to piece together what the hell is going on.
From the trailer, the film gives off the impression this film revolves around time and how Lucy perceives everyone at different points in time as if they are “stationary and time passes through” them. It continues to have a strange and absurd dialogue between each character as well as the dynamics between the group. While the dinner progresses we get a sense that Lucy and Jake are somewhat unreliable when it comes to their storytelling.
Overall the film was made wonderfully, with the moments where the camera focuses on small details almost like Kaufman wants to show the viewer something so minuscule and easy to miss with our first glance. How it keys into Lucy’s inner thoughts as narrating and muffles all other sounds around her, to where the dialogue instantly changes the mood of all conversations between characters. As the story in the house progresses there is a blur that starts to occur where the characters, wardrobes, and time start to mix and interloop with each other. Also if you are not familiar with plays such as Oklahoma the brush up on it as a certain theme plays a part in the creation of this film.
It is important to keep in mind that this film may not be for everyone, if you are someone who enjoys films that explain clearly everything by the end then stay away. This will keep you thinking for hours, and whatever you end up concluding you may not be right but you are also not wrong. This will require many viewings after to get the big picture.