I’m Thinking of Ending Things Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, David Thewlis, Guy Boyd
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Available On: Netflix
What’s Good: If you’ve followed the director, you know how good and bad things in his films vary from person to person. For me, I love to live in Kaufman’s distressed world, and that’s what this offers – a realistic approach to human emotions in the most abstract way.
What’s Bad: There are times when you’ll find yourself begging for answers for certain happenings, but you won’t get any and that could be the primary cause of annoyance for many out there.
Loo Break: It’s a 130-minute of hardcore s*x session with your mind, you might need some break before reaching the climax.
Watch or Not?: Read about what the film is all about, watch the director’s previous work (if you haven’t already, then step into this one).
Credited as a young woman (Jessie Buckley), the film starts with her thinking to end things with her boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons). After a montage of a lonely house, the director takes us in the backseat of a road trip. We remain unaware the young woman ‘might be’ named as Lucy until Jake talks about the work of William Wordsworth. I’m unsure with the name because she might or might not be called some other names for the rest of the film.
Six weeks into their relationship, Jake drives Lucy to introduce to his parents. Lucy feels guilty taking this trip with Jake to his home, simultaneously carrying the thought of ending things with him. But the real deal awaits for her when she reaches there; the story is all about what she witnesses there and where all of that leads her. But it’s not that easy, and it’s just too complicated to put it in words.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: Script Analysis
There’s a scene in which Buckley’s Young Woman says, “I’m a pinball, my emotional state is bouncing all over the place”, and that will be the normal state of every single person watching the film. Polish cinematographer Łukasz Żal’s camera replicates the viewer’s thoughts. He pans his camera way before the characters start moving, following which they find their way to the frame. That’s exactly how everyone’s thinking will be, you’ll always try to guess a step ahead than Kaufman, but eventually, he’ll make his characters follow your thoughts.
The symbolism touches a new high when Kaufman decides to keep the colour-tone dull. Being John Malkovich and even Synecdoche, New York carried the dark undertones, but this film is never bright even when you set the device at your maximum brightness. Also, Łukasz follows his work (Cold War) to keep the aspect ratio of this film to 4:3. Not so very Kaufmanesque.
It possesses every Kaufman-like trait such as highlighting the sorrow in an artist’s life, including a time-loop episode which messes up with your mind, giving a bipolar treatment to his characters which allow them to be more than just what they’re entitled of and much more. The writer in Kaufman highlights the hopelessness in a beautifully abstract way.
Just like the multi-tones of his characters, even the likeability scope strictly depends on whether or not you can connect to what’s happening. It’s not an Inception, Shutter Island or Mulholland Drive which you might read about further and start admiring it even more. This is something with which either you’ll connect in the first 30 minutes, or there won’t be another watch ever. It’s sad, it’s depressing, but ultimately it’s real.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: Star Performance
Jesse Plemons supremely plays the guy no girl would want to share her anything with him. Subtly controlling the speed of his dialogues, Jesse adds an extra bit of sadness whenever he says something. He’s someone who could give you the joyous news of inventing a Coronavirus vaccine dreadfully. Jesse gets Jack in a weirdly satisfying way; he never emotes sadness but still looks like the saddest person on the face of the earth.
Getting past Jessie Buckley’s underrated smile and a beautiful mess of Red curls, you get equally confused as she is in the film. This is the character Kaufman wants you to stay with because it has the most humane qualities to it. Also, you’re left with no choice but to stay with her because all the other characters are too kooky to stay with. Jessie, for some time, makes sure to maintain the sanity amid the sea of questions until she eventually drowns in it.
At the surface, people could have complaints about Toni Collette crossing the lines of eccentricity, but she remains my favourite performance of all. Despite having a limited screen-presence, she surprises with every frame. Her performance made me yearn for more of that quaintness.
Unfortunately, expected more of David Thewlis’ role but he’s restricted in his zone. Never getting out of it, David receives the minimal scope to show what more he could’ve added to the already messy table. Guy Boyd’s character gets a somewhat whimsical goodbye which is portrayed with equal genius.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: Direction, Music
Call me a snob, but this film screams Charlie Kaufman with each of its aspects. They say cinema should have a universal appeal, but there’ll always be certain films made for certain people, and this is one of them. Every scene Kaufman directs will raise a question which you’ll forget as you jump on the next scene. Some questions will be answered by the end, and some will be left ambiguous to your imagination following the ‘Kaufman’ way.
Jay Wadley’s background score is exactly what’s needed backing Charlie Kaufman’s depressing screenplay. Jay keeps the basic template to soothing, which balances all the dialogue-heavy noise happening in the narrative.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, and I’m thinking to end this review! This film a heart-break in a visual form and it demands a lot of understanding from you. It won’t spoon-feed anything to anyone, make sure to keep your imaginary visual power ready with you.
Three and a half stars!
I’m Thinking of Ending Things Trailer
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things releases on 04th September 2020.
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