REVIEW: Endings, Beginnings Shows the Complicated World of Loving Two People
3.5/5 fun little text bubbles.
**Spoilers for Drake Doremus’s Endings, Beginnings, lie below.**
Trying to find love in any generation is hard, especially when you struggle with loving yourself. And that’s exactly what Drake Doremus’s latest tackles. The film follows the story of Daphne, (Shailene Woodley) post-breakup with Adrian (Matthew Gray Gubler), as she decides to take a six-month break from dating and drinking. The problem is that she instantly meets Jack (Jamie Dornan) and Frank (Sebastian Stan).
While the movie shows the draw that Daphne has to both men, the entire story is focused around her inability to love herself. Choosing Frank for any kind of serious relationship is a mistake, and she realizes it the hard way and ruins whatever good things she has with Jack along the way, all because of her own journey and trying to figure herself out.
What makes this movie so beautiful and such a Doremus film is the story being told not just through the characters but with the way the film is shot, as well. There is a moment towards the end when Frank and Daphne are talking, and the shot lingers on a still of Sebastian Stan while his line is played over it, before quickly cutting to him speaking, as if showing how Daphne was drawn to Frank’s looks, her own gaze lingering.
Filled with incredible performances and Shailene Woodley like I’ve never seen her before, Endings, Beginnings is the kind of movie that is perfect to bundle up and watch right now. Drake Doremus successfully gives us that emotional message of caring for ourselves and not so much worrying about the fear of just being alone.
With Jack, Daphne finds the kind of man who, on paper, almost seems perfect, and Dornan masters the “nice guy” routine. But Frank throws a wrench in her plan because she’s drawn to him despite being warned, by Jack, that Frank is the kind of guy to not take a relationship seriously. Throughout the film, Daphne is her own worst enemy and in love with two men who, in their own ways, mean well but are both terrible for her.
There is a lot about Endings, Beginnings that stays with you once you finish it, but nothing like understanding that love can come in many forms but if we don’t love ourselves and find a way of appreciating who we are, that love can slip away because of our own doing. A Doremus movie is often one that hits you right in the heart because he shows us these universal feelings that we all understand but rarely want to explore, and watching as Daphne continued to hurt herself until realizing what she has to do for her own happiness is an emotional ride.
In a lot of ways, Endings, Beginnings is a perfect movie to watch during quarantine because it squashed whatever need I had to try to find some way to date, but also, it’s a beautiful story and hits those emotional notes that make Drake Doremus’s work so cathartic.
Endings, Beginnings hits on digital on April 17, 2020 and on demand May 1, 2020.
(image: Samuel Goldwyn films)
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