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Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World movie review (2024)

“Do Not Expect…” culminates in a masterfully executed sequence that distills the film’s themes into a single, unbroken shot—ostensibly the raw footage from the PSA—where a poor family is manipulated into undermining their own interests in bleakly funny fashion. The road there is full of small indignities and absurd ironies, peppered with pop-culture references (including a surreal cameo from one Dr. Uwe Boll) and fueled by the energy drinks Angela gulps to stay awake. These scenes are woven in with footage from the 1981 Romanian film “Angela Drives On,” in which a previous generation’s Angela (Dorina Lazar) lives a less stressful, if not necessarily better, life as a taxi driver in Ceaușescu’s Bucharest. 

Where Jude’s previous feature, “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” could be didactic at times, “Do Not Expect…” slips its knife between the audience’s ribs with such skill that the severity of the injury isn’t obvious at first. Throughout the film, Angela listens to the radio at an ear-splitting volume as she drives around. In the first half, the content of the lyrics—get money, fuck bitches, party—plays like a comment on the coarseness of our era. Then, later on, a passenger asks Angela to turn the music down. She apologizes and says that she would, but she’s afraid she’ll fall asleep at the wheel if she does. What appears to be shallow indulgence is actually a survival mechanism.

Nihilistic hedonism also seems to be the driving factor behind the film’s most cryptic element: Angela’s online alter ego, Bobita. A shit-talking misogynist who namedrops Andrew Tate and worships Vladimir Putin, bald, male Bobita is the crudest and most obnoxious element of a world defined by its crudity—a signature of Jude’s films that also appeared in “Bad Luck Banging.” Some of Angela’s friends and colleagues find Bobita amusing. Others do not. When pressed about what she’s going for with all of this, Angela fumes: “I’m like Charlie Hebdo, sucker!”

Does she mean that? Does it matter? Sure, she’s going on TikTok and calling all women whores. But the greater evil is happening behind the scenes, by nice people who have all kinds of nice rationalizations about how the workers they’re exploiting are really at fault, because they let themselves be exploited. In such soil, how could anything but a vulgar flower grow? 

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