I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things ★½

Decided to do this again—trying as hard as I could to keep an open mind—after reading disneydreamdiary’s typically insightful review. I can accept that the Young Woman is Jake’s projection of his “ideal woman”, so maybe Kaufman isn't actually doing misogyny praxis. dreamdiary’s point about not privileging one level of reality over the other is a salient one. The problem, now, is that I don’t care.

The Young Woman is Jake is the Janitor is Charlie Kaufman. That esoteric Frankenstein’s monster might be a murderer, a molester, a victim of a molester, a latent homosexual, a paranoid schizophrenic, a feminist, a chauvinist. Perhaps the character is a fantasy conceived by i’m thinking of ending things as an autonomous entity, and not the filmmaker—a Robert Zemeckis picture represented by Charlie Kaufman represented by Netflix. The film-in-itself. A bad movie idea gone good, gone rogue.

Dozens of eloquent (read: alienating) signifying chains articulated from a conscious-unconscious like the characters are in pensive self-analysis and of course there are unconscious signifying chains under those conscious-unconscious chains which refer back to those verbalized chains and require industrial deciphering by the viewer. It’s not just subtext we’re dealing with here. It’s subtext bolded over the text and the text bolded back over that, with numerals (stretching into the triple digits) up against each sentence designating similarly myopia-inducing footnotes, with subtext messed on top of their text, etc.

Take “Freudian bullshit” at face value or accept the politics as a justification against self-introspection, if that self exists to begin with. Signs abound (and not just the literal ones on doors and nightgowns): Yule Log, basement, tinnitus, maggoted pig, Oklahoma!, milkshake, arm rash, Robert Zemeckis. The movie is not there, everywhere, limited, boundless. It’s exhausting.

I don’t need you to spell everything out for me. But, by God, I’m not interested in explicating your depressive fucking chicken scratch.

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