Title – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Director – Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York)
Cast – Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, David Thewlis
Plot – A young newly dating couple Jake (Plemons) and his nameless girlfriend (Buckley) take a road-trip to the rural property where Jake grew up to meet his mother (Collette) and father (Thewlis) where Jake’s girlfriend begins to further question her relationship with Jake and whether she’s interested in continuing on their courtship.
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”
Review by Eddie on 11/09/2020
Building his career off the back of a series of quirky offerings that are as oddly funny as they are strangely moving, when you head into a Charlie Kaufman film you know you’re in for an experience like none other (for better or worse) which is exactly what new Netflix offering I’m Thinking of Ending Things delivers upon.
With the likes of his written films such as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or the films he also directed such as the mind bending Synecdoche, New York or the little seen dramatic animation Anomalisa, Ending at times appears to be a straight-up genre film with initial thoughts this is merely an examination of a crumbling relationship between Jessie Buckley’s unnamed main protagonist and Jesse Plemon’s dry and boorish Jake but it quickly detours into something else entirely that may not be overly apparent until you’re much further into its end game.
In adapting Ian Reid’s book, that itself is supposedly a quirky and abnormal novel, Kaufman has no doubt added his own spin on this quirky and deeply depressing tale as he looks to examine what it means to be human, what it means to feel alive and importantly what it feels to be loved and to love and while its subject matters don’t always make for enthralling viewing as such (the film features two prolonged car-held conversations that may cause many viewers to tune out), there’s an odd and effecting power to Ending that isn’t frequently found in such tales.
A huge part of this is down to Kaufman’s ability as a screenwriter and he shows growth also here as a director with Ending looking and feeling fantastic but its also due to Buckley and Plemon’s performances with both young actors proving once more their some of the best in the business and when they get to share the screen with industry vets Toni Collette and David Thewlis as Jake’s eccentric parents, they more than hold their own, even if we as viewers might be losing track of exactly what is occurring in front of our eyes.
It’s a shame that many may dismiss the film or even not make it all the way through as when you finally begin to unravel exactly what is going on and why its going on, Ending becomes a truly moving and unique tale that will go down as one of the most original films of the year and easily one of the best Netflix originals of the last few years.
Final Say –
Stick with it and unlock its mysteries and I’m Thinking of Ending Things proves itself to be one of the years most pleasant surprises that features some great performances from some of the brightest young stars working today.
4 animated pigs out of 5