I’m thinking I did not like I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS. Not one bit. In fact, this has now replaced Relic as the most critically overrated film of 2020 so far for me. And it’s not that I didn’t “get” it. I got it all right. In fact, I suspected what was really going on almost only 10 minutes into the movie (and I was right, and I hated that I was right because it’s one of those endings that has been done to DEATH). I just couldn’t get invested in any of it. The acting was good, but I didn’t any of the characters and didn’t feel for any of their plight (that fact becomes even more so when the movie reveals its entire hand). The dialogue seemed like it was trying to sound smart, fast, and quippy, when in fact it came off as pretentious and it resulted in scenes that just dragged on and on and on and on. At 2 hours and 14 minutes, this film was WAY too long. This film reminds me of Darren Aronofsky’s mother!, where it just kept screaming in your face the phrase “DO YOU GET IT?!?” the entire run time and doesn’t go much in depth or really have much to say in terms of getting old, depression, Alzheimer’s, etc. etc. etc. It’s artistic trash, and I don’t really care for those types of films. Fans of Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Charlie Kaufman (who wrote and directed this) will just eat this film up. And maybe you are, and if so, perfectly fine. I get the fans of their films, I really do, my tastes just refuse to accept a lot of the allegorical nonsense. In fact, I think I might only be a fan of one of each of their movies, Kaufman’s being Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. I don’t know, if you are a fan of Kaufman’s and these types of movies, you be the ultimate judge if its premise intrigues you enough to watch it. Don’t listen to what I have to say. But I have a feeling that a lot of modern audiences won’t get past the first hour on Netflix, and soon many will just be thinking of ending things by deleting it from their ‘continue watching’ list.
IMDB’s description of the film is pretty vague: “Full of misgivings, a young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm. Upon arriving, she comes to question everything she thought she knew about him, and herself.” The films stars Jesee Plemons, Jessie Buckley, David Thewlis, and Toni Collette. And their acting is great in this, there is no doubt, especially Jesse Buckley, who was fantastic in 2018’s Wild Rose, but I don’t see any of them nominated come Oscar time, especially when the Academy finds films like this hard to swallow as much as I do. I was completely and utterly bored the entire film. I couldn’t get invested in the philosophical dialogue, which made me not get invested with or make me care about any of the characters, which made me feel like I couldn’t care less of what was going on. Anyone that says the movie was too confusing, like Tenet, is just kidding themselves. The movie gives you all the evidence you need to piece together all the strange shit that is happening/going on, in fact, I would say it does too much of it too soon, even during the 20 minute long car ride at the beginning of the film. It reveals its cards so early to the point where I was hoping and praying that where it was going wasn’t going to be the ultimate route the film took, but alas, it did. And anybody saying that a film hasn’t done that cliched and tired ending in that way before are making excuses for why they think the movie is “brilliant.” It’s been done like that before, you just haven’t heard of or seen any of the better films that it has been included in.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is just artsy fartsy for the sake of being artsy fartsy. It thinks it is smarter than it is, which to me feels like Charlie Kaufman likes to pat himself on the back too much. I’ll give him these things and these things only to pat himself on the back for: the shots and cinematography in this are gorgeous. That’s it. And sometimes the dialogue gets in the way of the beautiful scenery. It’s like you are watching the sunset at the Grand Canyon while someone is yelling right in your face and trying to sell you something you’ve said no to about a dozen times. It’s annoying, beautiful, frustrating trash. One of the worst films of the year for me. I’m sorry, that’s just how I feel. My wife came in near the end of the film, watched about ten minutes, and guessed what was going on and even said, “this seems weird and pretentious, have fun watching the rest of it.” Yeah, I didn’t have much fun at all. There is no way this movie would’ve made any money at the theater and I bet you a million dollars that Netflix executives watched it and said, “boy, we don’t really get or like this movie but hey, let’s buy it anyway to try and win Oscars, Oscars, Oscars! It’s Charlie Kaufman for Christ’s sake!!!” Yeah well, that’s where you went wrong. This film might be critically acclaimed right now, but come Oscar time, many people will have not even seen this let alone have finished it for it to be remembered for any awards next Spring. By this time next year, I’m thinking that it will be mostly forgotten.