endings, beginnings

★★★★

DIRECTOR: drake doremus (like crazy, equals)
STARRING: shailene woodley, jamie dornan, sebastian stan and lindsay stone

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

A 30-something woman navigating through love and heartbreak over the course of one year. During that time, she will unlock the secrets to her life in a sudden turn of events and in the most surprising of places.

Endings, Beginnings has been touted as a typical romance, but this indie film has so much more to offer than flat storylines and stolen kisses.

 

Starring Shailene Woodley as Daphne, Jamie Dornan as Jack and Sebastian Stan as Frank, Endings, Beginnings becomes more than what meets the eye. It starts as the story of 30-something-year-old Daphne leaving a relationship and job, and moving into her sister's poolhouse. She's disappointed and disillusioned when she meets both Jack and Frank at a party. Jack is deep, sensible and academic, Frank is adventurous, free-spirited and alluring. Soon Daphne is pulled into the best of both worlds, once again caught up in everything a relationship can give and take from her.

 

This is more than a romance. Gone are the coming-of-age stories of an 18-year-old in turmoil, Endings, Beginnings is about the dead ends you discover in your 30s, and the pivotal points you come across along the way. The first half of this film seems shallow in parts, but takes a dramatically deeper turn in the second half. Keep a close eye on those repetitive flashbacks and the deep hurt that reveals itself to Daphne as she flits from Jack to Frank.

 

Note that it does take a second to differentiate Jack and Frank - and that's perhaps on purpose - as they quickly reveal themselves to be very different indeed. I find both male leads portray their polar opposites well, and Woodley shows us her character's confused state with great believability.

 

The story deepens as she continues to pursue both men, and deepens again in the last act of the movie, as it's cut-off right when you really want to know more! The family dynamics and love triangle in Endings, Beginnings really support the film's perfectly indie title, and the acting makes the film as watchable as it is.

 

The subtleties stand out and the leading trio are unmissable in Endings, Beginnings. Put aside the romanticism and make sure you give this indie film a quality watch.

★★★★

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