Review: Endings Beginnings is Shailene Woodley’s Show

When it comes to romance dramas, there is hardly any trope as appealing as a love triangle. Pitting a character in between two lovers, exploring their confusion about who is the better fit for them, is something that the audience has always loved. TV shows, too, indulge in this time and again, their plots often depending on the “will they, won’t they couple”, splitting the fandom into different ships.

With three beautiful actors, ‘Endings, Beginnings’ indulges in the same predicament. Shailene Woodley’s Daphne finds herself torn between Jamie Dornan’s sincere Jack and Sebastian Stan’s irresistible Frank. As both of them pull harder, she comes apart by the end, and a different picture of her comes into view, and that is what the film is all about from its beginning to the end.

Endings Beginnings Plot

The film begins with Daphne moving into her half-sister’s boathouse. She has recently been through a break-up, which even she doesn’t understand why she went forward with. She has also quit her job and finds it difficult to land on anything else. In the midst of all this, she crosses paths with Frank and Jack. For her own good, she had promised herself to stay sober and not rush into any relationship, but the entry of two men with opposite polarities throws her into the mess she had intended to avoid. While one gives her the security she needs, the other offers her a reprieve from it. The question persists: what does Daphne want?

Endings Beginnings Review

‘Endings, Beginnings’ keeps us interested in finding out with whom Daphne will finally end up. Just like her, we know that Jack’s dependability makes him a better man to settle down with, but the way she keeps gravitating back to Frank, despite all the warning signs, makes us wonder if she will make the bolder choice. However, there is another dilemma floating just below the surface. This is what forms the heart of the story, and Shailene Woodley becomes its soul.

The actress inhabits the character of Daphne with the earnestness that allows her to give the raw, vulnerable edge to her role. Woodley makes Daphne’s predicament relatable. While the plot puts her in the tricky situation, her thought process, be it regarding Jack and Frank or her past actions or the uncertainty about her present, we understand why Daphne does what she does. Her story comes to us in fragments, and this emphasizes her fractured state of mind, which is why seeing her come together, in the end, makes it all the more rewarding.

The film also benefits from Dornan and Stan’s dynamic. Even though we don’t get to see the two of them together a lot, the undercurrents in the conversations between the three of them make it easier to understand their relationship. Because we follow the story from Daphne’s perspective, there are boundaries set up between the audience and the men. We see them only as Daphne sees them, and this adds to our own indecisiveness about whom we want to ship.

Despite all these good points, some things hold the film back. Even though a lot is going on for the character, sometimes, it feels like nothing is going on. At times, the film loses track of its primary motive, and it feels like it’s just dragging along. The fact that the differences between Frank and Jack are the same old, based on the tried and tested formula that is thrown at us so often, is also irksome, at least in the beginning. Even though you might eventually become invested in the story, to see how it pans out, you do feel like you have already been through this routine a number of times before.

Considering everything, ‘Endings, Beginnings’ makes you feel good. Its somewhat different approach towards the familiar plot device makes it stand out. It is also beautiful to watch; the lingering shots that try to catch the aftermath of some dialogue are a nice touch. The music makes it all better. You might not want to watch the film again, but you will find yourself coming back to that playlist repeatedly.

Rating: 3/5

Read More: 10 Best Love Triangle Movies of All Time