I’m Thinking of Ending Things is the latest Netflix release to confuse the masses. Charlie Kaufman, known for mind bending stories such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, writes and directs and doesn’t holding anything back. Some will write this off as pretentious fodder for movie buffs, but there’s something to be said about the unconventional moviemaking style of Kaufman. Let’s consider the pros and cons of I’m Thinking of Ending Things…
Pros: This movie may seem all over the place plot wise, but all of the themes and moving parts intermingle extremely well with each other. In fact, the seemingly accidental wardrobe changes, sudden edits and repeated character lines all serve a purpose by the end of the film. The acting and dialogue driven script are also resounding positives. If you’re able to identify the subtle nuances of every performance and appreciate it’s pairing with the vivid imagery, you may find yourself particularly enthralled by this film. All in all, my biggest praise for I’m Thinking of Ending Things is that it begs discussion and analysis. You could have a completely different understanding of the story than the person sitting next to you, yet both of your perspectives would be valid. And as is alluded to in the movie, art can make individuals feel singled out. And indeed it does.
Cons: In spite of phenomenal acting and directing, this movie is not for everyone. Charlie Kaufman is no stranger to using metaphors and symbolism in his movies, but in this instance it may be done to excess. It also requires your 100% undivided attention which could be considered a negative for passive movie watchers. The several slow stretches of dialogue may tempt you to lose focus, but there’s always something happening in the background. In other words, you’ll need a sharp eye to catch the subtle nuances in every scene. And even then, you probably won’t fully understand the story until at least a few repeat viewings.
I give I’m Thinking of Ending Things a B+. It doesn’t have a straightforward plot, but the many metaphors and subtle nuances in every scene make this well worth a watch. It may be confusing experience initially, but it will also pique your curiosity in a way that few other films do. Happy Watching!
Where to Watch
- Netflix with Subscription
“Coming home is terribly lonely…”