Review By Frances Winston
‘i’m thinking of ending things’
Directed by: Charlie Kaufman – Starring: Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, David Thewlis
Available on Netflix now!
Meeting a partner’s parents is hard enough at the best of times, but made all the more difficult when you are having doubts about the relationship, and thinking of ending things. This is the dilemma faced by a young woman (Buckley) as she embarks on a road trip with her boyfriend, Jake (Plemons) to his family home. Her doubts are heightened when she meets his parents (Collette and Thewlis) and things get increasingly strange leading to a disturbing aftermath.
This is based on the 2016 book of the same name by Iain Reid, which divided critics. Its existential themes dressed up as a psychological thriller for much of the tome would no doubt have put many people off attempting to adapt it. Not so Kaufman though, who has made a career out of creating abstract movies about the human condition.
Here he has created a very claustrophobic world. With much of the movie set in the car, with only the girl and Jake in the scene, he builds the tension and anxiety well.
He has also assembled an amazing cast for this, and Buckley in particular shines as the confused young woman at the centre of the tale. Plemons gives a solid performance as Jake, and Collette and Thewlis are a brilliant double act as his parents.
For those who haven’t read the book, some elements of this may be somewhat confusing – particularly the ending. But it is pure Kaufman, and will definitely appeal to fans of his work.
This isn’t the kind of movie you escape into. It demands your attention, and will leave you with a thousand questions. But watch this without distractions, and you’ll have an enjoyable movie experience.