Movie Review: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Credit: Netflix

Premier Date: 4th of September 2020

Director: Charlie Kaufman

Screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman

Cinematography: Lukasz Zal

Favorite Quote: “People like to think of themselves as points moving through time. But I think it’s probably the opposite. We’re stationary, and time passes through us, blowing like cold wind, stealing our heat, leaving us chapped and frozen.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is very deep, symbolic, and confusing. It’s a movie about Lucy (Jessie Buckley) and her boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons) who visit Jake’s family on a very snowy evening. Jake’s family is very weird, his father stares at things and his mother laughs hysterically and his dog is always wet. Lucy and Jake leave the house after dessert, and make a stop in an ice cream parlor. After not being able to finish the ice creams, Jake drives to his old high school to dump the ice cream where the movie ends. There are all kinds of hallucinations, weirdness happening in between events. The movie is nothing like its’ trailer. From looking at trailer, I thought it was going to be about suicide, depression, breaking up, etc. It is about all those things but also it is very philosophical in the sense that it made me question things. Although I didn’t understand nearly %25 percent of the movie, I still liked it.

I summarized the “general” story above. However, there are lots of unexplained things in between scenes. For example, after they ate the meal, the time was fastforwarded to 20 years later when Jake’s parents were very old, Jake’s mother wasn’t able to eat by herself and his father had Alzheimer’s. However, Jake and Lucy were still in their 20s. I first didn’t understand this transition but after driving away, Lucy said those words that I wrote above for Favorite Quote. Perhaps those scenes were about how we are constant as people while time passes through us. The same message was given when Lucy went into the school to find Jake and found a janitor who I assume is Jack. He was wearing the shirt she put in the washer, but he was in his 60s. I assumed he was Jack also because after Lucy left him in that place where was working, he started to cry. On the other hand, I couldn’t understand the last part where Lucy found young Jack and they had copies of each other and ther copies’ started dancing? Not a clue what that meant. Plus when at the end Jack won a Nobel prize in physics and everyone was old and he started singing on the stage? Not a clue neither. If you have a comment on those scenes, I would love to read them in the comments.

I really liked their acting skills. The scenes were very natural. Jake’s mother’s hysteric laughs, his father’s weird looks and behavior, they all felt perfectly natural and horrifying. When Lucy was reciting a poem, the sadness and frustration was coming through her eyes and her voice. Besides the acting that made everything seem so natural, I also want to talk about the perspective. When I first started watching, I felt like I was watching a theatre play, not a movie. I think it had several reasons. One of them was that the screen was a square. Usually when we watch a movie the camera covers the whole screen of the computer or TV. This time, it was a square and there were black rectangular spots in the sides. It made me feel like we were an outsider, as if there were some things we couldn’t see just like in theaters. Plus, the sounds and acting had that effect. Especially Jake’s mother’s laughs were so loud and so exaggerated that it felt like I was in a theater. Also, the creaking of the stairs and the floors, the shoes thumping on the floors also gave that feeling. Usually in movies we don’t hear shoes or floors creaking but we hear them in theaters. This also made it the movie more natural, these types of sounds are everywhere in our lives.

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