After being published in 2016, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, which became the first novel by Canadian writer Iain Reid, was immediately praised by literary critics. In fact, the psychological horror thriller novel was named one of the best books of 2016 by National Public Radio. As well as being a finalist for the 2016 Shirley Jackson Award and on the Emerging Authors list in the 2017 Ottawa Independent Writers Frank Hegyi Award.
The success of the novel I'm Thinking of Ending Things, finally, attracted American filmmaker Charlie Kaufman. To adapt it into a film. Which he directed and wrote his own screenplay. Which, now, we can enjoy the results together. Via the Netflix streaming service. Since last September 4, 2020.
Like the novel version, the film I'm Thinking of Ending Things tells the story of a student whose name is not clear. Either Louisa, Lucia, Lucy, or Ames (Jessie Buckley). Who is dating a student named Jake (Jesse Plemons). The one he met at a campus event.
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Although not even two months of dating, Louisa is already thinking about ending her relationship with her new lover earlier. However, when Jake asked her to meet her parents in her hometown, Louisa could not resist.
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Jake and Louisa, aka the girlfriend whose name wasn't clear earlier, then went on a trip by car. In the snow. To Jake's parents house. Its located outside the city. In an agricultural area. Which is very remote.
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There, Louisa was greeted by Jake's father and mother (played by David Thewlis and Toni Collette). The old one. Which makes him awkward. Even though he tried to get along, he still felt awkward. Moreover, strange, absurd, and mysterious things also happened in the house.
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In the midst of his confusion, the girl whose name was not clear began to question everything she had known so far. Namely, about himself, his girlfriend, and, even, about the world. Is all this for real? Or is it just a delusion?
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By the way, I'm Thinking of Ending Things is Charlie Kaufman's third work as a director. To be precise, after the man who was born on November 19, 1958 produced the comedy drama film Synecdoche, New York (2008) and the animated film Anomalisa (2015).
So far, Charlie Kaufman is best known for his film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Which, through the film, he won the Oscars Cup. As Best Original Screenwriter.
Before spawning I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the name Charlie Kaufman was synonymous with films that featured strange stories. Apart from Etenal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York, and Anomalisa, there are also Being John Malkovich (1999), Human Nature (2001), Adaptation (2002), and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002).
In the film I'm Thinking of Ending Things, whose story is adapted from the novel by Iain Reid, Charlie Kaufman tries to play with the audience's emotions. By exploring the feelings of regret, loneliness, and hopelessness experienced by the main character. Who is a chronic jones. Alias chronic ngenes singles.
For most viewers, the story of I'm Thinking of Ending Things is, perhaps, very confusing, strange, and absurd. In fact, perhaps, many do not understand the story after watching it. What exactly is the meaning of this 2 hours 14 minutes film?
For those who have watched the film I'm Thinking of Ending Things, and are still confused, perhaps, can try to read the plot summary of the novel (which is available on various book sites). In the ending of the novel, a mystery that has been shrouding this absurd story is revealed from the start. What this film version does not clearly reveal.
By presenting a hanging ending, director Charlie Kaufman, apparently, deliberately left it up to the audience to conclude for themselves the purpose of the film I'm Thinking of Ending Things. Especially, for those who have never read the novel version earlier.
As the title suggests, when watching I'm Thinking of Ending Things, perhaps, many viewers are tempted to end it immediately and stop watching. However, it didn't. Out of curiosity: Where will the story of this film be taken? And, finally, without realizing it, I watched it to the end.
The story of the film, which was originally going to star Brie Larson, is like a puzzle piece. Randomly scattered. Which, even after the film is finished, and the puzzle is neatly arranged, the audience still can't see the big picture. It's frustrating, anyway.
However, the screenplay of the film, which was written by Charlie Kaufman himself, deserves thumbs up. Because it contains long, simple dialogues (which, perhaps, makes most of the audience sleepy), but the meaning is very deep. Very suitable as material for reflection.
Besides that, the cinematography of the film, which is presented on a small screen with an aspect ratio of 4: 3, is also cool. Even though it doesn't feature any ghosts, demons, or monsters, the visualization and atmosphere always make us anxious and uncomfortable. Therefore, it is very appropriate if I'm Thinking of Ending Things is called a drama film with an absurd psychological horror thriller.
The strangeness of this film is also supported by the appearance of the stars who are okay. Jessie Buckley, who replaced Brie Larson, turned out to be able to look good as the girl whose name was not clear earlier. Who seems to be the "main character" in I'm Thinking of Ending Things.
So it is with Jesse Plemons. Who was playing against Jessie Buckley earlier. Which seemed to really animate the role of Jake. A strange and mysterious unstable boy. Which will make us curious throughout the film.
Not to mention, the appearance of a maximum of two senior stars who are supporting roles in this film: David Thewlis and Toni Collette. Who became Jake's parents. No less strange, absurd, and mysterious than their son earlier.
With all the positives above, it's no wonder, many critics have praised I'm Thinking of Ending Things. What is said to be the best film adaptation of the novel by Iain Reid.
In the end, I'm Thinking of Ending Things is not a film for everyone. Perhaps, many have grumbled after watching it. Because he wasted more than two hours of time and internet quota for this obscure film.
However, for those looking for an unusual quality spectacle, with an absurd and surreal story, this film is definitely not to be missed. Because I'm Thinking of Ending Things is really good. Moreover, if you already understand the meaning of the abstract story earlier.
- can clearly feel how many parts of the films storyline feel quite outdated when compared to similar themed films released in recent years.