I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: This Charlie Kaufman Film Is A Puzzle

Here's our review for I'm Thinking Of Ending Things, a Netflix film, starring Jesse Plemon,Jessie Buckley,Toni Collette,David Thewli and directed by Charlie Kaufman

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I’m Thinking Of Ending Things Movie Review: This Charlie Kaufman Film Is A Puzzle
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An old man in the early stages of Alzeihmer’s, says it’s  better to lose your  memory completely than  to know you are losing it.

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, a film as strange as its title, plays numbing mindgame with audiences’ perceptions from the very first frame to the last until we don’t know why things are what they are, or who is doing whom, and why he is where she is or she is where he is. Or whatever.

To be honest, I found the whole rigmarole a bit of an intellectual sham. The kind of cinema that ‘serious’ students make in film school to impress their professors. An illusion of real life with heavy literary references thrown in, all amounting to a work that tries to seduce us by being a sum-total of everything that we don’t know about the characters rather than what we do know.

By the end of the film, I was not sure if the plot in trying to uber-hot, ends up muddled and distraught, or what. I wasn’t even sure if the  protagonist Lucy (who changes her name  several times in the film) exists. Or is she just a figment of someone else’s imagination? Not  ours. Or maybe it’s just us thinking of ending the  film.


The  dinner with  Lucy’s frumpy fiancé, Jake(Jesse Plemon)’s eccentric parents (Toni Collette, David Thewli) is so bizarre and out-of-tune, it defies any coherent reflection. 

Like chapters in a psycho-wacky novel, the parents keep aging and de-aging throughout the evening. Veterans Collette and Thewli play the parents with an unendurable  level  of  hysteria. They  are like two demented teenagers suddenly made to act much wiser than their years.

Throughout the dinner, the characters jump topics that range from chocolate cakes to ear aches.

The only sane performance in this unhinged, partially interesting, drama comes from the lead Jesse Buckley, chosen  because she looks  sensible and remains grounded while else around her topples over into a hallucinogenic haze of inherent time-flips.


While much of the narrative arc is amorphous what comes across clearly is the film’s modest budget. Most of the film is shot in a car driving across a snowstorm, and a cosy cottage  housing Jake’s parents, the end-game is set in  a highschool where unknown actors break into a rendering of the musical Oklohama.

There are lengthy references to poet William Wordworth, critic Pauline  Kael and the film, The Wonder Under The Influence. The two protagonists, ill-matched and largely unsure of  their conversation with one another, are as  confused as they are confusing. Do they really exist? Do WE exist?  If we do, why should we waste time trying to figure out why this film was ever made?






Image Source: IMDb, youtube/netflix, instagram/imthinkingofendingthingnetflix
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