I’m Thinking of Ending Things Review

By Diego Caceres, Staff Writer

“I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks, it lingers, it dominates.” Just like this thought, the newest film by Charlie Kaufman seeps into your subconscious and grabs your attention for the entire ride. The editing, performances, and tone push you to the edge of your seat, leaving you to wander helplessly in a confused daze and trudge forward in hopes of finding an answer. Kaufman manages to encapsulate the human mind’s intricacies in two hours, revealing the true story through Young Woman, the character played by Jessie Buckley, as she accompanies her boyfriend on a trip to meet his parents.


We follow Young Woman, the film’s supposed main character, as she tries to unravel the mystery behind the deceptively banal trip. For most of the film, Young Woman and Jake have philosophical discussions that drag on until the thought of ending things reappears in her mind. The phrase implies that Young Woman wishes to end the relationship. As the story unravels, this phrase takes on a whole new meaning.


Towards the end, the story morphs into something entirely different. The audience is thrust into a fantastical conclusion that takes on a mind of its own, revealing the harrowing truth behind carefully constructed layers. We come to realize that Young Woman, on a second viewing, feels less like a protagonist and more like a pawn trapped within an intricate dance, coming to grips with the true nature of her entire being.


Every decision of the movie is carefully calculated to help audiences in their pursuit of some semblance of sense. The existential discussions between the main characters linger throughout the film. The performances take on new meanings after a second viewing. The editing choices add to the uneasiness of the film, cutting back and forth in a disorienting way that adds more depth to the already complex narrative.


The main problem I have with the film is its pacing. It feels slow and never seems to pick up. Of course, a movie can go at a slow pace, but considering the long discussions and car rides it could have been more exciting towards the end. Although I wish some scenes would have ended sooner, all of it feels intentional.


The film does a great job to keep the viewer curious, but I wish more aspects were kept a mystery. Like a puzzle, you take time looking for pieces that fit together but once you figure out where each piece goes, you put it back in the box and leave it in the attic. After discovering the theme of the story, I am left with nothing to keep me interested in the film. The greatest films stick in your mind and carve out their own place in your head to stay forever. This film failed to resonate with me like I hoped it would, but I enjoyed it overall.


I give this film a solid 9/10.