Why we should be courageous
from the film “I’m thinking of ending things”
I was scrolling through Netflix and couldn’t decide what to watch. A social malady for every user. I guess you could call it, the paradox of choice. After a series of never ending film titles, I came upon a film called “I’m thinking of ending things”. I always had a spot for titles that seemed connected to everyday life, so I clicked the trailer button.
It was a young woman on a street, head up high waiting for a snow flake to fall in her mouth with great delight. Her voice narrating, telling the audience about her new found boyfriend, Jake.
What seemed like an intimate romantic affection turned into a paradoxical feeling of disconnection, I was hooked. I made myself some popcorn and grabbed a soda. I was in for a ride.
“We have a real connection
A rare and intense attachment
I’ve never experienced anything like it
I’m thinking of ending things”
The film became mind-bending, weird, and thrilling all at the same time. Charlie Kaufman being the director, we get a glimpse of an idea inception inside a character’s mind. Series of longing and sorrow that are painful, so we try to escape from the curse of consciousness. A human experience we all go through. Nevertheless, Kaufman gives the audience a series of semiotics allowing us the freedom of interpretation. One could no longer determine fantasy from reality.
As the film progresses to its climax, the film became clearer. Turns out, all of it were reminitions and projections of Jake’s mind. These are fantasies on what was, what is, and what could have been in Jake’s life. Sometimes it’s too late to change the past so we create a fantasy for the future. It is in this realisation that makes his character complexly multidimensional.
Lucy or Loiusa was based upon a young woman that Jake desired in a trivia night at a bar in his younger years. The young woman smiled at him but he never had the courage to talk to her. His shyness was paralysing that he couldn’t face his fear. The young woman ended up in his distant memory.
Fast forward in the present, on the verge of existential crisis, Jake fantasised an idea of this young woman as his girlfriend. Filling her with series of identity. One moment she’s a painter, next she’s a poet, a quantum physicist, or even a gerontologist. One can only argue that Jake has made up a perfect woman for him or a replica of him. In reality, Jake lives alone in his parent’s house with no wife or kids. He works as a Janitor and spends most time in solitude.
“People talk about the ability to endure. To endure anything and everything, to keep going, to be strong. But you can do that only if you’re not alone. That’s always the infrastructure life’s built on. A closeness with others. Alone it all becomes a struggle of mere endurance.”
This becomes a problem of human condition because we are all born as dreamers. While being a dreamer gives us hope, it is when our fantasy becomes reality that affects our lives. The movie entails about a person’s experience in life that’s romanticised in order to fit the character or life he wants to have. Purely fictional.
“It may never have existed in concrete fact; It has always existed as truth” — Madeline L’Engle