September 5, 2020
This is not so much of a review but a very biased opinion as I rage-blog about the I’m Thinking Of Ending Things movie, which was released by Netflix yesterday (Sep 4). Unloading my feels while it’s still fresh in my mind. Major spoilers and these are just my personal views.
TLDR: I HATE IT.
Expecations: Mind-blowing thriller
Reality: Phoney, pseudo-intellectual art
I read the book in May 2019 and thought it was amazing. From the beginning to end, you have this lingering unsettling feeling while reading it because you know something bad is going to happen but you don’t know what exactly. Loads of suspense, tension and unease.
I’d actually thought someone was planning to kill someone, just that I couldn’t figure out if it’s the girlfriend or boyfriend that would be the killer. Surely no one who sees ‘I’m thinking of ending things’ (a phrase that is repeated a lot) actually thought she was referring to just the relationship.
Because of the book cover, what I visualised was the entire book taking place at night while the couple were in their car during a road trip. Which added to the bleakness and creepiness. There are three other significant scenes – in the farmhouse, at Dairy Queen and at the high school. But most of the book takes place in the car so it felt all the more isolating and eerie.
I remember one afternoon in the office, when I went to chill at Toast Box just so that I could have some time alone to continue reading this book 😂
My review on Goodreads:
I know there are a lot of people who didn’t like the book too but I’m glad I read it before there was any hype (the existence of expectations make a big difference). So I was pretty excited to find out last month that there was going to be a movie on Netflix.
But I was quite surprised when I saw the trailer because it was not what I’d imagined in my mind. There were daytime scenes (minimal, but a mistake and redundant to me. Though it makes more sense if they started their road trip in the day la). The whole vibe was more quirky than creepy too.
Nevertheless, I was excited to get home last night and watch it. But it was a total disappointment! I was very bored less than halfway through and went to watch the first 10 minutes of Lady Bird instead. Went to bed afterwards and continued the other half earlier today.
At first I was like ok, the movie has its own interpretation and foreshadowing which is fine because it’s an adaptation, not a clone. Plus they kept all the scenes mentioned above so it’s not that far off from the book even though the dialogue is entirely different.
I liked the farmhouse scene; very creepy and a sense of foreboding on what’s to come.
Toni Collette is AWESOME in her role!! Perhaps the only good thing about this movie.
The Dairy Queen scene was also very on point.
Sadly, the car scenes (aka most of the movie) were painful to watch because they didn’t keep what I thought were great quotes from the book. Plus, the couple was super annoying and making pop culture critiques (which does nothing for the creepiness), especially the female lead 🤮
Still, I thought it was fine… until we reached the school scene (the final 30 minutes). In the book, the tension is peaking because the female protagonist believes she is being stalked. You can sense her fear and feel the danger that she’s in.
However, the movie completely diverged from the book by this point and entered its own world. Some may call it abstract or artistic. I call it nonsense and pretentious. There are suddenly two dances and then a musical… hello where is my thriller??
Oh and the biggest difference is the movie doesn’t follow the twist in the book so there is nothing to reveal and blow your mind. Basically, I spent 134 minutes watching a build-up to nothing.
End of rant.