I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a bizarre tale I feel people will either love or hate.
PLOT AND STORY
On the surface this is a story about a girl who goes to meet her boyfriend’s parents for the first time and gets stranded in a blizzard. What the true story happening underneath is one I find difficult to explain. Strange events start to unravel the more time we spend at the parents house but I found myself unable to figure out why or what was happening.
Based on the best selling book by award winning writer Iain Reid the movie is written and directed by Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). If you have seen any of his previous movies you will know they always have some weird twists and turns but I found ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ tried too hard and failed to draw me in. As I mentioned this movie will connect with some people and not with others, sadly I am the latter as I found the whole story slow, boring, unengaging and pointless.
The story has lots of things happening and many moving parts but none of which seemed to have a purpose. The more the movie progressed the more puzzled I got but the less I cared about what was happening and just wanted to get to the end. With movies like this you find yourself expecting a big twist at the end which puts everything into perspective but I again found myself disappointed at the lack of clarity.
I haven’t read the book so I cannot compare but if the story is similar then maybe it’s one which resonates better on paper than on screen.
PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION
I can’t fault the production of this movie which was almost entirely shot inside one house. There are some dark, tense scenes which were framed very tightly within certain rooms of the house and I did admire the use of light and shadow. It had the feel of Blumhouse movies like Get Out and Us but without the story to back up the crisp but bleak visuals.
Jesse Plemons plays the male lead role of Jake and is very good. He always has a nice guy but creepy guy personality and did remind me of his role in Breaking Bad. Nice on the surface but has the potential to be a mad axe murderer. Opposite Jake was the female lead played by Jessie Buckley. Jessie is an actress I’m not familiar with but I found her performance to be interesting and believable.
Jake’s parents were played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis and it was these two who took some risks. Portraying parents who live a sheltered farm life and have their quirky traits Collette and Thewlis were allowed to really go crazy in some scenes, some of which paid off and some of which I found to be a bit over the top.
I don’t mind odd movies with strange stories and crazy twists but ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ was not a movie for me. I admire film makers taking risks and I understand that not all movies are for everyone but I found it really difficult getting through and felt relieved when it was over. There will be people that see the artistic merit in this movie and really connect with it, sadly I wasn’t one of those people.
I watched this movie via Netflix and have received no incentive to review.