Nolio’s review published on Letterboxd:
Geez girl, just end things with the guy already.
Upon finishing this one, I only had one thought, and it was the same thought I had after Synecdoche: "The fuck?" This film, like many other think-pieces (more on that later), relies on a harsh, specific atmosphere and a cornucopia of seemingly random dialogue to tell a story rather than a conventional narrative - many good films do this well. Many films can also fail at this. I think this one lands somewhere in between, not quite a fail, but not entirely a.. win?
Here's the thing -- this does explore some of the most interesting topics about life and death, something we all have to deal with eventually. It addresses this explicitly and its an important component to setting up the crucial 3rd act, which takes the film in the same direction, only twice as fast. Its exciting, and the characters are very well-developed through multiple scenes of dialogue (though some scenes dragged on -- I haven't even seen A Woman Under the Influence, not fair!), and for the most part this works.
I said this was a "think-piece", and it's just that. It's cerebral, makes you think outside of the proverbial "box", and that's surely the main strength of the film. However, that brings me to the main issue I had with the film, albeit its not a huge one. This subject was already explored better in Synecdoche, 12 years ago. That film still makes me think, and i saw it like a year ago. I'm Thinking of Ending Things is also making me think, but it just didn't hit me as hard. It doesn't feel so much like a provoking film as much as it feels like a puzzle that has to be solved. It was enjoyable enough, sure. I didnt even mind a lot of the car scenes or narration. In comparison to what its up against though, the film is average in terms of being the textbook cerebral "think-piece".
God that sounded so pretentious lol.
I still had a good time with this one. I liked how in the end, it was more about Plemons character (who is great in this by the way!) and how it turned into a damn musical during that final sequence. Everything got surreal. There really is a ton to unpack about this film and I missed quite a bit. It was a good experience, and the second feature of Kaufman that I've seen. The guy really does have this unique, almost impressionistic feel about him that really sets him apart from other directors. Give this a watch! Wait.. I'm the only one who hasn't seen this yet? Whoops..