Charlie Kaufman is back! 5 years after his animated feature film debut and 12 years whole after his last feature film, he returns with I’m Thinking Of Ending Things. But is it any good?
According to Netflix, the synopsis is as follows:
Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world.
Based on Ian Reid’s bestselling novel by the same name, I’m Thinking of Ending Things was written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, who is best known as the screenwriter Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Being John Malkovich, which widely considered cinematic masterpieces.
How Does I’m Thinking of Ending Things Hold Up?
This is one of this year’s least accessible movies for general audiences. This is because of the style, as the movie is relies heavily on its screenplay, with scenes that are just characters talking for around 20 minutes. For me, this worked in the first half of the movie really well. I’m Thinking of Ending Things sets up many interesting themes and has an overall uncomfortable atmosphere. Sadly, this all falls apart in the second half when the movie starts getting weirder and weirder until you don’t know what’s going on anymore.
The cast delivered great performances – the standout being Jessie Buckley, who did a great job on camera and off camera while doing relatively long voice-overs. And Toni Collette returns with the most unsettling performance at a dinner table since Hereditary.
The technical aspects are good. The cinematography is the outstanding part, because of the great work of Academy Award Nominee Lukasz Zal (Ida, Cold War). He captures the dialogue in a relatively static way, with movement only where it needs to be. Another interesting detail is the aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which helps to showcase the dialogue scenes, as most of the time you can only see the characters.
It’s biggest problem, unfortunately, is also its unique style. It only works for Kaufman films, as it’s really dialogue heavy and gives you a lot of things you need to unravel for yourself. Despite that, I’m Thinking of Ending Things doesn’t really feature an arc or even a real plot. It’s more about the atmosphere and themes, which get shown but are never worked in as plot elements to make it easier for general audiences to digest.
Overall, it does start of strong but sadly loses itself in its many themes and unusual ways of showcasing them, which makes it really hard for general audiences and even people who aren’t into Kaufmann’s filmography to enjoy.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is globally available on Netflix and is Rated R for language including some sexual references.
What do you guys think? Do you like Charlie Kaufmann movies? Are you planning to watch I’m Thinking of Ending Things? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below.