I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things ★★★★½

“Animals live in the present, humans cannot so they invented hope”

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions. Their lives a mimicry. Their passions a quotation”

“I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks, it lingers, dominates. There’s not much I can do about it, trust me. It doesn’t go away. It’s there whether I like it or not. It’s there when I eat, when I go to bed. It’s there when I sleep. It’s there when I wake up. It’s always there. Always

I'm Thinking of Ending Things is a lot to take in. It’s definitely one of those movies where the concept isn't simply laid out. But like the psychology of the mind, it was never meant to be treated simply. I’m Thinking of Ending Things has garnered quite a confounding response from most viewers, but a deeper watch would help shed light on some of Kaufman’s bizarre writing perspectives. The man has crafted a narrative bonanza of themes that is rooted in the inner workings of a single mind and is so dense with allusions that deciphering it would virtually require immense delving into semiotics.

Existential dread and the horrors that come with it are no strangers to Charlie Kaufman's repertoire. The atmosphere Kaufman crafts is one that leaves a viewer feeling uneasy while in the midst of a psychological purgation. It’s one of those rare instances where the writing feels loose yet surprisingly cohesive at the same time. Having the story partly told through the eyes of a character seemingly full of eventful histories only to be nothing more than a figment of imagination, surrounded by a whirlpool of alternate histories running through the mind of a forlorn man, is wholly engrossing. It is most definitely a situational matter that the person sitting next to you won’t admit to having done but most assuredly has, on numerous occasions, more so

The way media affects Jake’s personal life to develop the perfect adaptation of a played-out relationship with someone he never really got the chance to interact with beyond the line of sight is one of the more spellbinding layers of the film. The way the themes of social isolation and the disquietude of one’s life inject upon each other is exactly the type of cathartic indulgence I most certainly enjoy dabbling in. It’s almost inconceivable that this string of themes is complimented by a creator whose grasp on technical artistry is as compelling as his writing prowess. It’s all shot, condensed, edited, and performed perfectly. I genuinely wish David Thewlis ends up with Kaufman like what Jackson is to Tarantino, Mifune to Kurosawa, and one of my more favorite recent pairings, Sandler to the Safdie brothers.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is meticulously well-detailed. It’s the subtle nuances paid attention to throughout the film that make this whole thing work. Though often regarded as nothing more than little tidbits of an overarching theme, it’s fundamental and indispensable to building a successful yet well-intentioned emanation. ‘The Woman’s’ discovery of all the thrown away ice cream inside the bin near the school alludes to the fact that Jake has probably done this type of fantasy before, to ‘The Woman’ meeting the older version of Jake, sending her away suggests that Jake has finally accepted to part ways with this tired-out fantasy of his. Then he finally submits. He finally decides to turn his mental concoction into reality. He thought of ending things, and so he did, miserable and alone.

It’s a stunning, tragic conclusion to a tale about a man forced to confront the failures of his life, succumbing to the misery, as it leaves his body. I’m Thinking of Ending Things opened my eyes to a lot of different things. The film brings up the conversation of how one’s morality is influenced significantly by their state of happiness. Dissensions on how people view happiness through materialistic things or the validation of other human beings are expounded on greatly. Nothing in the history of arguments on the philosophy of morality has ever been more prominent than a utilitarian mindset. The film presents itself as a mystery, a mystifying stranger, only to uncloak itself as the human mind’s most familiar acquaintance.

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