I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Let me tell you, when I heard Charlie Kaufman was directing another film and that it would be hitting Netflix, I was hyped. Kaufman’s writing is so top notch. He has a unique mind and I can get engorged in a screenplay by him. I think he’s a better screenwriter than when he sits behind the directors chair but I wanted to see what he could bring with this. While the film is quite long, I felt mixed about it at first and then decided that I love it. Regardless of my final thoughts, my eyes were glued to the screen the entire duration.
The film is a film that blurs reality with memory where the main story follows a relationship between a man and a woman. The woman has an inner monologue and wants to end the relationship with him. We see the couples relationship with the man’s parents along with the decline in mental capacity and health of the parents. The issues and dynamics of their relationship are explored throughout a film that is at times fleeting and gives way to its ambiguous interpretation and artistic delivery.
Jessie Buckley is the best thing ever in this film. She’s always displayed talent in everything she’s been in but with this film she displays talent at the highest order. All the pain and emotion can be seen in her expressive acting. Jesse Plemons is great in it as well, the pairing were a strong selection. Toni Colette in her limited time is great and at times so simply frightening (just like she is in Hereditary). Its hard to define this film and put it in a categorical box because it borrows from different genres. Its dialogue driven at times and you have to be ready for a minimal approach at times.
I haven’t read the novel but read the differences between the novel and the film. I feel like Kaufman leaves it up to the viewer’s interpretation. I don’t want to get into spoilers but I feel like I may have an idea what goes on and the link between the fantastical elements and how it relates to the male lead and his idealistic idea of a life where he is happy and a relationship that occurs on his own (often delusional terms). Of course, I cannot be certain of this interpretation as its very ambiguous and not very linear at all.
The beauty of the film is that it requires multiple viewings. The lead character’s clothing changes in different scenes, i.e the color of her sweater. There is a lot that is happening on screen and I don’t mind re-watching this to just dive into it and see if there is anything else my eyes can decipher. I know a lot of people are bored or frustrated with this film. Its a grower that stays in your mind and its something I want to revisit because I liked it a lot.