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A maze of a movie, in which the walls are closing in and the exit is through a constantly shifting Escher staircase of a storyline: the latest from Charlie Kaufman blends metaphysical sleights of hand with a mounting chill of choking panic.
This is Kaufman’s second screenplay to be based on a novel, but unlike Adaptation’s meta-dissection of the processing of adapting Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, here he attempts to get into the skin, or at least the sensibility, of Iain Reid’s 2016 book.
We already knew that Jessie Buckley is something special. But she’s fully miraculous in the central role of a young woman who has agreed to meet her boyfriend’s parents (a frazzled Toni Collette and David Thewlis) on their isolated farm, even as the snow begins to fall and the angst sets in and she is “thinking of ending things”.
She is introduced as Lucy, but slips into other names (and other clothes and other voices) as the film weaves onwards. Perhaps describing her as the central role is misleading – there’s a friable, mercurial quality to the character that seems to repeatedly crumble and re-form, like a sand sculpture. But the authenticity of Buckley’s performance, which seems all the more remarkable when you think back over it than it does when you are watching her, gives the character a solidity, while the other characters drift around her like ghosts.
This is not cinema that leaves you feeling good about things. Nor does it tread a familiar path. But I’m Thinking of Ending Things is one of the most daringly unexpected films of the year, a sinewy, unsettling psychological horror, saturated with a squirming dream logic that tips over into the domain of nightmares. Buckle up for this one and make sure you’ve stocked up on your meds.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: I’m Thinking of Ending Things review – one of the most daringly unexpected films of the year | Film