An overworked and underpaid production assistant has to shoot a workplace safety video commissioned by a multinational company. But an interviewee makes a statement that forces him to re-invent his story to suit the company's narrative.
“I wanna be clear that we’re not making commercials, but films about the care our company has for its workers.” Do Not Expect Too Much of the End of the World is the International Feature submission from Romania. Radu Jude’s latest film follows a young, overworked woman, Angela, who works as a production assistant. Her latest assignment is to audition workplace victims for a commercial about workplace safety.
Tired from working 16 hours shifts, Angela wakes up at 5:50am to start another long day at work. Her boss has arranged for her into interviewing four blue collar workers who have experienced workplace accidents. She interviews a man who lost some of his fingers in a freak accident. Another man lost half his face. One woman broke her spine following a terrible fall. And another man got hit in the back of the head with a metal pole. Between getting stuck in traffic, getting into road rage with other drivers, running late for meetings, dozing off while driving, the films follows Angela’s endlessly never ending day, all the while not getting paid.
Do Not Expect Too Much of the End of the World touches on labour, exploitation, death, and a failing economy. Part comedy, part road movie, part montage, the film is not harrowing and beautiful, but humorous and bitter. The film, without any shame, eviscerates a number of zeitgeist issues such as corporate greed, globalism, and the toxicity of social media.
The film follows a protagonist who is as loud as she can possible be. She drives from one place to another, but seemingly in circles, just like her life. So much of this film is a drone of monotony. It presents a crumbling society, ravaged by cruel exploitation of the less fortunate, just like Angela. It is a blisteringly funny film all about how society remains unchanging, despite the illusions of progress presented to us on a daily basis.
In this world, we walk on the roof of hell, gazing at flowers. We're aware of our impending death as well as all the pain and suffering in the world, but we still have the remarkable ability to appreciate beauty that's all around us.