Review: ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ leaves viewers solving puzzles

Confuses yet captivates audience

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Netflix

Netflix Original “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” released on Friday, Sept. 4.

Charlie Kaufman’s newest movie continues his legend of making mind-boggling and brain-twisting films. The Netflix Original “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” based on the book by Iian Reid, showcases a young woman (Jessie Buckley), whose name is never revealed, visiting her boyfriend Jake’s (Jesse Plemons) parents’ house. The whole visit is eerie and logic-defying, with cut scenes from a lonely old janitor (Guy Boyd) that’s seemingly random and out of place. The entire movie keeps viewers guessing, dropping subtle hints to help the audience reach a shocking conclusion in the end. 

Although each scene and piece of dialogue was deliberate and planned out, they had a habit of running too long. For example, in the beginning, when the young woman was in the car, she recited a dialogue that was later revealed as a clue. However, the meaning of the poem itself, which had no actual purpose in the story, ran on for a few minutes before finally reaching its end. The movie was two hours long, with numerous scenes that seemed to go on forever. The scene in the car and others similar to it could have easily been cut for the movie to remain clear and concise.

These scenes, along with lots of other brain-frying series of events, made the movie extremely difficult to understand. Audience members had to take to the internet to understand its plot. Although the final answer is satisfying and makes sense in a way, the average viewer would have a difficult time piecing together the subtle clues given to reach the desired conclusion. With the awkward placement of the final scenes, the movie seemed to spiral out of control. As a whole, it seems messy after the viewer was made aware of the actual plot. 

Despite its confusing nature, the movie succeeded in captivating its audience. The viewers were aware of the brainpower the movie would take quickly into watching the film. This made viewers inclined to pay attention with a watchful eye, even though it would probably be in vain. The colors of the film set the mood perfectly, and the actors did a fantastic job portraying the emotions of their characters while still maintaining their touch of insanity. 

Overall, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” gives viewers mixed feelings. On the one hand, it leaves the brain confused and a bit disturbed. On the other hand, isn’t that the point? The movie keeps viewers entranced through every second, every twist, every turn and purposeful plot hole. The movie rightfully deserves a 3.5/5, but in terms of mind mazes – a 10/5.