I watched a few movies over the long weekend. I enjoyed the thriller that included my favourite guy, Cillian Murphy, and the romantic comedy featuring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, but there was one film that I just haven’t been able to shake. Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things is based on the book by Iain Reid and airs on Netflix.
The plot seems simple enough on the surface. A young woman and her new boyfriend travel to meet his parents on the farm where he grew up. The girl, played by Jessie Buckley, has misgivings about the trip and her relationship; she’s questioning things. The boyfriend, Jake, played by Jesse Plemons, seems nervous to take her home to the farm to meet his parents, played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis. A lot of the scenes take place in the car as the couple travel in an ever worsening snowstorm.
I don’t want to give anything away … although I’m not even sure it’s possible to include spoilers for this film. The entire time I was watching I was trying to figure it out. What is really going on here? Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I was on the edge of the seat feeling a little frightened, sometimes I felt confused, and all the while I questioned, what is really going on here?
The movie ended and I still didn’t know, I hadn’t figured it out. My first reaction was to scoff and give it a big thumbs down rating! Stupid movie! But after a bathroom break, I returned to the TV with a fresh cup of hot tea and I was still thinking about the film, still wondering about things, feeling the urge to rewind to see certain parts again, wanting to Google more information, maybe read the book, perhaps even watch the movie again right then.
I didn’t watch it again that day. Instead, I changed my rating to a thumbs up, added the movie to my favourites list, and promised myself that I will watch it again in a month or so after I’ve thought on it some more. I think it’s a film you can watch multiple times and still miss some subtle nuances or clues.
This kind of movie is definitely not for everyone. Nothing is as it seems. It’s driven by internal dialogue. If you disliked movies like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation or my personal favourite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then you won’t enjoy this one either and should just give it a pass. But if you are open to these kinds of films and you like to be left wondering and puzzled and unable to shake what just happened, then this is worth your time. It’s midweek and I’m still thinking about it, and looking forward to my second viewing.
Drinking: dark brew in my favourite tea mug
Listening To: CBC News, New Brunswick First
Hair: getting really thick