New movie time and this one is called I’m Thinking of Ending Things. It’s just recently popped up on Netflix and it’s from the peculiar mind of screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman. I’ve been interested in his work for a few years now, since I stumbled upon his 2015 stop-motion animated film, Anomalisa, which is one of the best animated movies of the last five years and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Moving onto his latest movie, and I must admit it’s a bit less streamlined, compared to Anomalisa at least, although there are some weird things in that film too, but we’re getting off topic. This is the type of movie that you shouldn’t feel ashamed you had to watch a few times to understand what’s happening. I know I did.
The basic plot of this film centres around a man named Jake and his girlfriend going on a drive to Jake’s parents house so the girlfriend can meet them for the first time. While on this never ending drive the girl is silently contemplating that she should break-up with Jake because she believes they’re just not working out. That’s as far as we’ll go because I don’t want to lose anyone.
Most of the film has the main girl and Jake just talking in the car for hours on end about stuff that may not sound that important at first, but on a rewatch you see a grander picture and realise that all these conversations in the car do serve a purpose and tie back into the theme of the movie, which is about getting old and questioning our very limited mortality. There are scenes outside of the car like when the couple actually meet Jake’s parents. From here things get really weird as I discovered that this typical love story movie is going to be more focused on the mental state of the only consistently named character and what we’re being shown may or may not have happened. The reason why I only refer to the main girl as just that is because the movie keeps changing her name and backstory every once in a while. So this made me come up with theories of what actually happened between her and Jake and then you get to the high school portion of the film and, ow, my brain is hurting again!
So if you do choose to watch this movie, I feel it’s necessary to watch it twice because as I’ve said already, knowing the whole picture helps make finding the secret meaning simpler. I guess you could see that as a negative because I gave Tenet some hassle for pretty much forcing people to watch their movie twice just so the plot and time travel made sense. It could be just my taste, but I’m Thinking of Ending Things I feel would be more rewarding on rewatches as it can be interpreted in so many different ways. My theories from my second watch feel more fleshed out and expanded compared to my messy confused first watch.
Another aspect this film does well is the performances as they’re probably some of the best I’ve seen all year. Jessie Buckley who plays the main girl would be one of my picks for Best Actress of the year. Also Best Supporting Actress to Toni Collette because she deserves it. This is Jesse Plemons best movie and David Thewlis is also just great in everything he appears in. It’s also pretty damn funny, not just within the heavy dialogue scenes, but there is also some visual gags. It’s also stands out for looking so different compared to every other Netflix film, which is like we have fancy cinematography and nothing else to offer.
Overall a good film, though not as amazing as Anomalisa. I have other complaints with it, but they could probably debunk that by saying it’s me not properly understanding the movie. I’m still sticking with the original rating I put on Letterboxd, as I feel quite comfortable with it. It took awhile to putting this one together, but that was the third movie I wanted to review from last week. I have been The Blog Complainer and I’m done.