Dear Jennifer Liao,
Thank you for taking the time to make a movie. It’s a gruelling process filled with compromises and long hours, but by the end of the day, it’s hopefully all worth it. However, due to insufficient content in Christina Ray’s screenplay and a cast of mugging comedic performers, I regret to inform you that I personally thought End of Days, Inc. was a swing and a miss.
It’s clear you have the ability to capture workspace monotony through set design that depicts white-collar environments as an encapsulating shell – a hellish Hotel California, if you will. To have a sadistically campy boss like Mr. Godfrey (played by Saving Hope’s Paulino Nunes) trap his laid-off employees for one last shift by dangling compensation, but also demonstrate how easy it is to leave the establishment is an exercise in integrity people have always struggled with. It’s the one thing Ray has satirized correctly.
However, your screenwriter has declined to contribute additional details to Mr. Godfrey’s business, Godfrey Global Inventory. I understand this adds to the unspooling of Godfrey’s ulterior motives throughout your film, but it’s all too vague to have your audience even nibbling in the first place. The fact that these faithful employees (Carolyne Maraghi, Mark O’Brien, Janet Porter, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) have stuck with this ill-defined company for as long as they have only adds to the unbelievably. This gap could’ve been filled in a matter of a few extra lines of personable dialogue.
I also didn’t comply with the overacting. End of Days, Inc. seems as if it wants to be a farce, and it appears the cast has signed off on this. But ultimately, the team behind the camera can’t come through with the gamble. Actors are doing outrageous things, but their actions never feel naturally motivated. A scene featuring Paul Sun-Hyung Lee chewing on a “used” condom was just puzzling and gross. The same can be acknowledged about your film’s alleged desire to produce dark comedy. Only this time, the production is game, but the actors are indecisive. The disposal of a dead body is executed poorly while Mark O’Brien fumbles with an obnoxious running gag.
End of Days, Inc. is proof that key components can sink a movie despite signs of a director’s promising career. I hope you can see things from my perspective, Ms. Liao.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie