What Happened to Monday? (Seven Sisters)

Director: Tommy Wirkola. Starring: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Marwan KenzariPal Sverre Hagen, Christian Rubeck, Cassie Clare. 2017, UK-Belgium-France-USA. Budget: unknown. Box office: $19 mln. IMDb: 6.7. My rating: 2.5/4. Dystopian sci-fi thriller about overpopulation.

monday-movie-poster-xl“Beyond an insult to intelligence.”
(zippersthemule)

“The film portrays a dystopian future where overpopulation has lead those in power to create a one child rule, with chilling justifications for abhorable acts in the name of protecting humanity.”
(denise-314 from the UK)

“Stunning Movie Exciting from the first minute.”
(Mahmoud from Egypt)

 

One. “What Happened to Monday” is a movie where Noomi Rapace performs 7 different roles – 7 sisters. Remember Tatiana Maslany and her multiple clone performances “Orphan Black“? It’s a tough role for any artist, so is Noomi Rapace good enough?

Two. If you ever wondered what will happen if you make a combined clone of Michael Bay & Roland Emmerich and make him become a director of a mid-budget movie, here’s your chance.

Three. Movies and plots are like jeans. The best examples look like this, solid and firm:

Think of “Children of Men“, “Ex Machina” or “Stalker“. Solid and firm.

Some others, like “Pacific Rim“, “Terminator: The Judgment Day” or “Star Wars” may have occasional plot inconsistencies, but it’s fine. They know it. We know it. It doesn’t matter. We can both get through it, still having strong orgasms watching the final result.

Other candidates, like “Armageddon” (miners learning to be astronauts? grass on the asteroid?) or “The Dark Knight Rises” (send all the police forces underground? why no! make them look perfectly clean shaven? fine!) may be pretty fucked up with plot holes and inconsistencies, but pretend like they aren’t and proudly try to masquerade them with quickly-paced action, CGI and other bollocks.

But there’s worse than that – some films (“Passengers“? Any Roland Emmerich film?) almost brag about their plot problems, proudly presenting them in-your-face as a newly discovered gem.

“What Happened to Monday” falls somewhere between the last two categories. But while Roland Emmerich’s films never take themselves too seriously, “What Happened to Monday” does.

***

Here’s a quick autopsy – the film starts like a “Children of Men“-wannabe, then spends some time as a “Passengers“-like whiny melodrams about family values, then finally – thanks to the unknown xenomorph God – abandons any attempts to appear smart and converts itself a pretty straightforward sci-fi thriller. The overall feeling after having watched this Netflix-distributed dystopia was like observing the monster from “Frankenstein” – it moves clumsily, sometimes makes a sincere smile, but you can clearly see that it wasn’t seamed too accurately and is an extremely artificial creation.

I may sound overly sardonic and happy to crush the movie’s corpse body, but “What Happened to Monday” isn’t actually a bad film. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on. Seriously. The sci-fi designs are curious, like the mirror that tells your physical condition and skin problems or a self-programming punching bag.

The film has an excellent premise – how the society turns itself into a totalitarian regime state to protect the world from overpopulation. There weren’t too many films about it, in fact, and half of them are surely from the 70-s (with “Soylent Green” being the most obvious example, plus some elements from “Logan’s Run“).

The visuals are one of the films strongest points too.

It has a wonderful cast – Noomi Rapace (the original 2009 Swedish “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” – a very good movie, by the way; “Prometheus“), Willem Dafoe who needs no introduction (“Antichrist“, “Platoon“, 2002 “Spider-Man“) and Glenn Close (“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1“, “The Girl with All the Gifts“).

So what went wrong? The details. From the first frames you dive into a fascinating world of Mr. Cliche. He is the boss in this dystopian world. The details completely ruin any credibility of this world, and for a dystopian movie that is crucial. That’s like teaching miners how to be astronauts when you can teach the latter how to drill.

In order to avoid the spoilers, let me make an example. All the people must carry an ID card. In any time of the day and night you must be able to prove that you’re the only child in the family. Even when you go to buy some meat, you still need to give your card to the butcher – why?! But I can swallow it. Okay. But if you’re a 35-year-old-woman, it means your mum is at least 50 years old, then what’s the point? If you were the only child yesterday, it’s obvious that tomorrow you’re still the only child because your mom can’t have kids anymore. That’s a big plot hole, but while watching the film I made a rough list and counted about 10 of them, and that’s just during the first view.

Where Alfonso Cuaron was subtle in portraying such a realistic dystopia, “What Happened to Monday” uses a far simpler approach. It’s like Michael Bay filming “Children of Men“. Need to portray an overpopulated world? Just show an overcrowded street 5 times in a row. Totalitarian society? O.K., who cares how it was created and who allowed it. Just show how the police taking away the kids from the angry parents! (…and why all the kids are between 5 and 10 years old? Why they don’t take infants?) Putting illegal children in a cryocam without letting the parents to visit them? Sure!

But if you manage to close your eyes on it, it’s not a bad flick. I was delighted to see Noomi Rapace performing the role(s) of 7 sisters. Noomi Rapace, the chameleon actress… I thought she will become a major movie star 5 years ago? I loved her roles in “Prometheus” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, but due to bad luck after 2012 she did 6 movies (mostly crime/thrillers), 4 of which had less than 35% on RT and pretty low ratings on IMDb. Only “The Drop” with her and Tom Hardy seems to be a good flick (7.1 IMDb and 90% RT).

Willem Defoe, a great American actor, was okay here – his role was limited (thanks to the script!) to a kind-but-severe-uncle cliche. Glenn Close, also a versatile and and talented actress, portrayed a very cliched villain that you want to punch in the face from the first frames… but I can’t blame her for that (thanks to the script!).

Worth watching? “What Happened to Monday” may easily satisfy young unpretentious veiwers (think “Surrogates” or various YA dystopias which I can’t stand), so I get it why Netflix stepped in. For everybody else… If you want to see what happens if Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich make a baby and then make him become a director and shoot “Children of Men” sequel… you’re more than welcome! Just don’t forget that these big-bada-boom guys can still do some nice stuff, especially if mixed with seven clones of Noomi Rapace, one Willem Dafoe, a dystopian setting and some chilling thriller.

Watch instead: choose any kind of dystopia you like! “Children of Men” for a modern, minimal and extremely relevant dystopia, “A Boy and His Dog” for 70-s black satire, “Moon” for a minimal low budget sci-fi awesomeness, “Dead Man’s Letters” for all Tarkovsky’s fans, “Version 1.0” for a Kafkaesque surreal cyberpunk, “THX-1138” for an arthouse film, “Sleep Dealer” as a smart illegal workforce Mexican dystopia – all much better movies. For a quick-paced action… ”V For Vendetta” (also by no means perfect movie) or bloody lovely ”Watchmen”?

Or be a sweetheart and help ”Blade Runner 2049” that is definitely struggling in the box office.

2.5/4

monday-movie-poster-xl

12 thoughts on “What Happened to Monday? (Seven Sisters)

  1. Your comparison of sci-fi movies to Holey jeans is On Point. And hilarious. I commend you for continuing to explore the sci-fi fi frontier, boldly going where few venture. I suppose your bound to find a lot of iffy (holey jean) productions like this one, in order to find the rare gems, of which I know you have discovered an abundance!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one isn’t available here yet (I believe it will be in november). I loved what you did with the jeans. That was highly original, and effective and hilarious at the same time. I like Noomi Rapace as well. Another film you might want to check out is Child 44 where she again plays with Tom Hardy. It’s based on real life events too, and it’s set in Russia 😊
    I really enjoyed this review: well written and with a lot of fun things in it. I will watch this movie when it comes out, but of course I won’t expect too much out of it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, sometimes it’s good to experiment with the reviews 🙂 I hope you didn’t find my example on T2 too offensive! :)))

      I’ve heard a lot about that film… It was banned it Russia and it doesn’t happen too often. Banning films is never right, of course. The reason is simple though – most of the things shown in the movie (and the book) are not properly true, or are exaggerated. I believe that it may be shot well and the cast is indeed outstanding (the Russian press praised Tom Hardy, Rapace, Cassel and Odman), but movies like that may vilify the state without saying the truth. It’s not true that there were no murders in the USSR and Stalin never said that. There were many serial killers and it was known. The story of real Chikatilo (the Rostov ripper) was known, and it took place from the late 70-s till early 90-s.

      For example, Zvyagintsev’s movies, which are incredibly popular in the West, also portray very negative sides of Russia (or ex-USSR), but do it in a different way. There are a lot of movies that portray the worst sides of Russia too, made there, and none of them are banned. I watched before many of them, particularly incredibly was ”Gruz 200” (Cargo 200), did you see it? It’s one of the toughest movies I’ve ever seen in my life. It tell the story of the power abuse in the police forces to a shocking extent.

      I hope you don’t get me wrong – by no means I justify the drawbacks and evil deeds of communist systems (and modern Russia) and I’m not a big admirer of none of them.

      So for this reasons I wouldn’t watch that movie…

      For example, the famous Reichstag foto was fake – it wasn’t taken when the first flag was put there, but was a set up created on the 2nd of May. The photographer was asked to do so by the authorities. He just invited some soldiers he met on the street nearby, and one of these soldiers indeed had 2 watches… One of these watched was removed from the photo later.

      P. S. if there’s something you don’t like in the reviews, feel free to let me know too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries, I wasn’t offended in the least 😊 It was very cool that you used my post, so thanks for that 😀 As for the film. I heard that as well. I also heard that a lot of things in the film did not really match up to the things that happened on reality. It’s a shame things like that happen. And it happens to often as well. The movie U-571 is also a very good example in which history is taken completely out of context. It was a hood film, just as child 44 was, but I can understand that you don’t want to watch it for that 😊
        As for Russuan movies, I am not too familiar with those. I dus see a Russian disaster movie recently called Metro which was pretty good, and I bought a Russian superhero movie just this weekend called Guardians which I have yet to see.
        And things I don’t like in your reviews, I have yet to find them. Your reviews are awesome 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok! About the Guardians – I’ve heard it’s pretty bad. It was bashed by everyone, both public and critics I trust… it has 3.2 on the Russian IMDb (https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/zashhitniki-2017-841813/) 😃😃😃 but it has the mutant bear with a machine gun. The point is that the director of this movie (Sarik Andreasian, Armenian) is like Uwe Ball and its incredible he still finds money to shoot them… 🤣 Now I’m curious how you’ll rate it. There are many good movies in Russia, but mostly not action/fantasy/horror but drama, tragicomedy, comedy and this kind of stuff. Dramas and tragicomedies are particularly good, but I think it’s mostly not your cup of tea 🤔😀

        I haven’t watched Metro but heard good things about it.

        I think one 2017 movie that may be pretty good is Attraction. It’s kinda a Russian answer to a Hollywood blockbuster and District N9 in particular. I have to watch it yet, but it’s shot by an important director. Hardcore Henry was a very cool action sci-fi movie, ultraviolent and original if you can accept POV camera.

        Now I’m currently waiting a lot for “Spacewalker”, which seems to be one of the best Russian movies of last years. It’s about the A. Leonov, the first man in open space (but the film is not a documentary!). He also worked as a movie consultant with this project.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that bad huh? 3.2…that is really bad lol. The trailers for it looked really good, but I guess that doesn’t really say anything at all. Am certainly going to watch it anyway, and post a review for it as soon as I get around to it. I do look dramas though, and the occasional tragicomedy isn’t something I’m opposed to either 😊
        Metro is certainly well worth watching. It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but definitely a fun movie, especially if you like disaster films.
        Attraction and Spacewalker I’m going to keep an eye out for too. Thanks for all these great recommendations 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaa! Yeah it’s pretty bad, but that guy it famous for doing stuff like that. There is another one, I don’t remember his name now, and he does similar bad movies… What a couple. Did you watch any
        Uve Boll movies?
        By the way, how come this stuff is sold in Holland? Where did you buy it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, I watched one Uwe Boll movie, and that was enough for me. Truly awful stuff: Bloodrayne. I don;t mind bad films from time to time, but that was where I drew the line lol 😂
        I just bought at a massive dvd/consumer store we have here. It is a label from Germany called splendid film, that brings out a lot of these foreign films. They specialise in Asian cinema, but also add movies from other countries from time to time 😊

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s