I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix, 9.2) is one of the most interesting creep-outs I’ve come across in quite some time. Please try to see it this coming weekend as I’d love to hear some reactions.
As I mentioned in my 8.27 review, I made a decision to more or less blow off the “what’s really going on here?” aspect and process it through the filter of my own push-pull feelings about my parents and my upbringing, and those little flashes of high-school trauma and heartache that have never really gone away.
The film basically conveys a feeling of being awash in a flood of suppressed memories that won’t quit lapping against your pilings. You might be unsure what to make of it. You might hate it or find it fascinating or somewhere in between, but it’s certainly not a trifle. I think that “psychological horror film” is an overly reductive way to describe it.
You’ve probably read that Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s Oklahoma! figures prominently in the film’s second half. Near the end a song called “Lonely Room“, sung by the Jud Fry character in the original 1943 production but cut from the 1955 film version, is performed in a surreal high-school production of the play. I had never heard it before seeing Kaufman’s film a few days ago. “Lonely Room” was restored for the 1980 and 1998 Broadway and London stage revivals of “Oklahoma!“.
The original Broadway production opened on 3.31.43 at the St. James Theatre.