I’m Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

It’s Charlie Kaufman, so I was expecting something attempting to be mindbending and unconventional. It’s His Thing now – he kind of has to live up to that.

In I’m Thinking of Ending Things I first realised the game was afoot when I noticed Jessie Buckley’s jumper changing colour. From there on in, half the fun is keeping a beady eye out for more clues and discussing – preferably with someone else – what it might all mean.

The answers are largely yours to decide, making this more of an ambiguous David Lynch-style experience in the vein of a Mullholland Drive, than a neatly-rounded and fully satisfying one like an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Beyond such superficial comparisons, what it has most in common with Mullholland Drive is that – even though watching the film may feel confusing or nonsensical – it is very apparent that you are watching a Very Good Movie.

Meticulously-constructed, actors deploying their craft with expert precision, and never once pandering to the idea that the audience requires spoonfeeding. These are the hallmarks of this film. It may or may not be a genuinely ‘clever’ movie, but it is a fun cinematic ride, an audio/visual puzzlebox, and (did I not mention this before?) wickedly funny.

It’s unfortunate that the ambiguity continues until the last frame. As you begin to stare down the barrel of the film’s last 20 minutes, it begins to dawn on you that there will be no bow to tie this whole thing up. And then a frankly unforgivable 10-minute sequence of (technically proficient but utterly unengaging) ballet drops in out of nowhere as a kind of crazy, lazy exposition dump, and loses the film a whole star rating along the way.

I think I ‘get’ this film. In fact it almost feels quite obvious. I think I know what the title means, and to whom the thought occurs. Certainly it makes sense in my interpretation and I can’t see how it could in any other. I therefore deserve a sticker.

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