• Josh Aboody

Nutshell Review: I'm Thinking of Ending Things

PG Score 5.25/10

I’m Thinking of Ending Things on Netflix was barely passable. Based on a novel of the same name written by Iain Reid, the plot follows a young woman as she accompanies her new boyfriend to his parents’ remote farm. Upon her arrival, things about him begin to come into question. The film is extremely weird more than anything else. Director Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York) is known for making very offbeat movies and has been quite successful at it. He wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is a strange flick but a very good one at that. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t follow suit.

The acting is very good from the entire cast. Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley were both great as the leads and seemed to have appropriately awkward chemistry with one another. Toni Collete and David Thewlis were effective as the boyfriend’s parents. It’s clear the actors put their all into these unusual characters and that’s one of the main positives on an otherwise short list.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is painfully slow at times (mostly towards the end) and just really bizarre for the sake of being bizarre. The first half of the 134 minute runtime had me roped in for most of it, then went downhill quite abruptly. It progressively got worse and culminated in a truly dismal climax. Every single conversation feels abnormal and there are few scenes that really make sense (at first, at least).

For example, the two main characters discuss various literature at great length and in theory, these breakdowns may seem potentially interesting. However, it becomes apparent that they’re needlessly complex and bogged down by excessive minutiae to the point that those exchanges are virtually meaningless. In other words, it comes across as though they’re talking about nothing. The overload of peculiarity is intriguing at first but it grows tiresome as the plot crawls forward. This, coupled with the dragging pacing, makes for a boring second half of the film.

Based on my post movie research, reading the book apparently helps understand/appreciate the film better. However, that’s just an asterisk to put beside a laundry list of negatives. This is not my cup of tea but I can understand why a lot of people will like it. I’m thinking of...not recommending this movie.

PG Score 5.25/10

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