• Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

Thinking about "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" (Spoiler Alert)

After listening to Marc Maron badger Toni Collette about I'm Thinking of Ending Things, and having heard friends also grumble about how badly confused they were during and after they watched, of course I had to take a shot.

Loved it. More than I can even explain.

I'm not going to talk about scenes from the actual movie. I'm just going to tell you what it reminded me of. Remember that super strange or 'way too quiet kid you knew in high school or saw kind of lurking somewhere--the one that looked at you in a way you never quite forgot?

Or maybe you looked into a big building real late one night and saw a lone, hollow-eyed custodian taking out the trash or silhouetted, briefly, in a huge window--a quick glimpse that stayed with you for a while for some reason. Made you wonder what his life was like and, yes, what sort of wrong turn he made to wind up doing that job at that hour of the night...

This movie is about those people. The ones who are invisible to us most of the time--the shadow people who are among but not "with" us, for all kinds of reasons.

And all the dialog, all the weird, wonky scenes are the bits and pieces of real life, TV shows, movies, books, newspaper articles, plays, videos, things they've Googled, people, places and things they've thought and dreamt about spilling out at you all caddywhumpus.

It's the inner world, the inner dialog of a person who has only lived vicariously. And is, perhaps, finally coming completely undone. I don't know if it's that person's last night on Earth or what, exactly. But it's like how they tell you that when you're about to die, your whole life flashes in front of your eyes in a few seconds--these are those few seconds.

Except...this isn't his real life. It's a life he pieced together from those bits. And yet, it couldn't be more real. Or more powerfully portrayed.

Sure, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (who else?) could've told "the story of a lonely man." Instead, like Faulkner in that first chapter of The Sound and the Fury, he just makes you live in his head for a couple of harrowing hours. So you have to feel what that's like.

Hit me like an earthquake. And the ground is still shaking hours later.

Damn, Charlie...

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