Movie Review: End of the Tour

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Wallace and Lipsky gather their thoughts while munching on some McDonalds.
Photo Courtesy: A24 Films

By Taylor C. Berrier

End of the Tour is an anxiety-inducing masterpiece that will make you throw into question the very system in which we are placed by inciting the proverbial chaos that tends to go along with it. There is no bad or good here, but to understand the unfathomable depth that End of the Tour seems to travel is to dismantle the not-so-ordinary human consciousness and try to define it at its very core. As hard as it was to relate to some of these characters, if you have ever written a complete sentence then you might have some experience as to what exactly is taking place here.

Based on David Lipsky’s non-fiction book, Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself and Absolutely American, the story followers Lipsky, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, and his five day road trip with author David Foster Wallace, acted out brilliantly by Jason Segel. David Foster Wallace had just published a New York Times best seller from what had seemed like out of nowhere. Lipsky takes it upon himself as a writer for the Rolling Stones to write a story about this author who had all of a sudden had fame thrust onto himself because of his writing.

What’s so interesting about the story of a writer writing about another writer? David Foster Wallace was no ordinary person. He was a teacher of English and writing who could be considered one of the greatest thinkers in his time. But thus is his downfall, as his depression controlled him for the better part of his life and finally was his demise. His novel Infinite Jest prehumously skyrocketed him to fame, but that was not the life he had wished.

Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), End of the Tour follows the dialogs the two writers shared during the five day interview with obscene scrutiny. It is profoundly rich with back and forths that delve into the human psyche and shares with the moviegoer a metaphysical purpose for this thing we call life. It delivers intelligent arguments for the sake of just that, argument, and those discussions derived from the time Lipsky and Wallace shared is nothing short of extraordinary.

Sit down, shut up, and listen carefully. Those are your only instructions when watching End of the Tour. The film will make you think, or not think about what really matters in this life. It’s unfair to call this movie brain candy, but it will make you consider the potential possibilities that await you beyond your seat in that theater. But most of all, End of the Tour is an adventure and an experience like none other. That’s what truly makes this a film worth seeing. It will spawn in you a subtle ember of knowledge and insight that many movies fail to produce. And if any of this sounds ambiguous or indiscript, a viewing of end of the Tour just my transcend you above this review and into enlightenment of self-worth.

Go see End of the Tour in theaters now. No matter what you think of the film, you will think something, and that’s all that matter. Check out the trailer below if you aren’t yet entirely confused as to what this movie really is: