Netflix: “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

Netflix: Im Thinking of Ending Things

Calli Noriega (10th), Editor

The well-liked streaming app Netflix, has been consistent with updating their content for viewers. They have added a new bunch of movies and television shows to their library such as “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”, a movie produced by Charlie Kaufman. The psychological thriller film was released to theaters on August 28, 2020 but only recently added to Netflix on September 4, 2020 in the U.S. The talented actors casted were Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis. The motion picture received positive feedback from critics and the general public.


Charlie Kaufman based the movie off of the 2016 novel “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”, written by Iain Reid. In September of 2018, it was announced that he would be directing and adapting the novel for Netflix. Kaufman embedded many pieces of symbolism throughout the script for complexity and surrealism. By using symbolism, he is able to inflict a certain emotion or effect on the audience which helps them grasp the main idea of the film. The message that is trying to be given could sometimes be easier to understand when in a specific state of mind. 


The movie follows a woman who contemplates ending her six-week relationship with her boyfriend, Jake, when taking a trip to meet his parents on their farm. Once stepping foot in Jake’s parent’s house, unusual events occur, such as the finding of odd scratches left on the wall, a picture of herself when she was a baby in their home, and multiple janitor uniforms in the laundry. As the couple are on their drive home, Jake recounts all of the interesting parts of the night that his girlfriend does not remember. They soon find themselves in the middle of a snowstorm, so they stop at an ice cream shop named Tulsey Town. Lucy and Jake encounter strange people as soon as they get out of their car, a janitor spying on them and an ice cream parlor employee who was bruised.


Lately, the U.S. community has expressed their own opinions on either social media or with each other about the film to gain new perspectives. A young local student who attends John H. Pitman High School, Monica Briones, was asked “Many people who have watched the movie claimed that it was confusing, and sometimes hard to follow. Did you feel this way when watching it or did you understand everything that was happening?” Her response to this question was, “ In the beginning yes, I felt like you were thrusted into the story without any context.” If one’s response was that they were confused at first, then that may be similar to others’ first impressions of the motion picture.


People gave their own interpretations of the messages or themes of the movie as well. Another young local student who attends Turlock High School, Chris Valdovinos, was asked “What do you think was the overall theme or message of the entire film and why?” He replied with, “Mental illness, it gave you a dive into the mind of someone who suffers from a severe mental illness which hopefully could bring understanding.” To obtain one more opinion on this question, Alisha Dhillon was asked the same query and she answered with “To my understanding, Jake had a hereditary mental disease, it’s a possibility that he created all of the characters that were introduced. The ringing from the mother and Jake were connected. The entire script would be based on giving a spotlight on mental illness.” Viewers had comparable answers to the same question about the theme, which goes to show that the movie was able to give out the message they wanted even if it was hard to follow.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” was a film that had a certain point to get across to others. It brought awareness to individuals who suffer from a mental illness, and how they think or act. The whole purpose was to show how they deal with this in their day to day lives, and their state of mind. Even though the movie was complex and different, people were still able to grasp and understand the theme.