Friday, August 23, 2019

What Happened to Monday (2017)

Movie Name/Year: What Happened to Monday (2017)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Length: 123 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Vendome Pictures, Nexus Factory, Raffaella Productions, SND Films, Title Media, Umedia, uFund, Copiapoa Film, Impuls Pictures, Medyavizyon, NOS Audiovisuais, Netflix, Odeon, Splendid Film, Vertigo Média Kft., Avalon, E Stars Films, Madman Entertainment, Mongkol Major
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Max Botkin, Kerry Williamson
Actors: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Marwan Kenzari, Christian Rubeck, Pål Sverre Hagen, Tomiwa Edun, Cassie Clare, Cameron Jack, Clara Read, Kirsty Averton, Lucy Pearson, Nadiv Molcho

Blurb from IMDb: In a world where families are limited to one child due to overpopulation, a set of identical septuplets must avoid being put to a long sleep by the government and dangerous infighting while investigating the disappearance of one of their own.

Selina’s Point of View:
Although this film was long, it didn’t feel like it. For two hours, I barely blinked.

I’ve been fascinated by the premise of What Happened to Monday since I watched the trailer. I love dystopian stories and this one really hit every aspect of what I find entertaining in them.

I believe the best films that cause a feeling a dread are those that are based in reality. By utilizing climate change and dwindling resources – something scientists have been warning us about for a long time – there’s a layer of realism woven throughout the plot. When that happens, it’s hard not to ask: “what if?”

In my opinion that makes everything all the more horrifying.

There were some missteps with the method of story-telling, but they were minor. Yes, some tropes were utilized, but nothing that couldn’t be forgiven. And that ending… I’m still impressed by the depth in it. There’s no question as to what happened. It’s not an open-ending. There is, however, room for debate – as there usually is when morality is involved. I love that. Even if the rest of the film wasn’t up to standard, it’d have gotten a high score just for making me seriously think about things.

I don’t want to go too far into it. I don’t like spoilers. So, I’ll move on.

Glenn Close (The Wife, The Girl with All the Gifts, 3Below: Tales of Arcadia) and Willem Dafoe (Opus Zero, John Wick, The Fault in Our Stars) are amazing actors. There are very few people that would argue against that. They were no less than expected in What Happened to Monday.

Noomi Rapace (Unlocked, Child 44, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), however, was asked to go above and beyond. She had to play seven different characters and make us believe they were seven – very different – people. That’s not an easy job, especially when the characters have to interact the entire time. By the end, I could see the minute differences in expression and movements.

She was absolutely brilliant. Whether you love or hate the idea of this movie, I recommend seeing it just for her.

For that matter, Clara Read (Rachel, My Time, The Bind) should be commended as well. The younger versions of the main sisters were just as believable.

I enjoyed this film and I highly recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
In the wake of watching What Happened to Monday, I find myself fairly giddy and disturbed at the same time.

Why disturbed? It’s not that far-fetched of a notion for something like this to happen. China already implements a single child per family mandate. As our planet continues to spin ever closer to peril through climate change, overpopulation, and dwindling natural resources; I wouldn’t be surprised if similar policies started circulating in other areas of the world. It’s a chilling prospect.

I have to admit, parts of this movie took me by surprise. I wasn’t exactly expecting the level of action or suspense that wove a consistent thread throughout.

Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, Bright, Close) is no stranger to physical roles, though this film brought an entirely different set of challenges for her on top of that. Playing all seven sisters would have meant quite a lot of additional effort, and she pulled it off quite well.

This film was well-timed on multiple levels, for me. I’m a huge fan of BBC’s hit show Orphan Black (2013-2017). I’ve been missing it, and this film helped ease that a little. There aren’t really any parallels between these stories aside from one talented actress playing multiple instances of a nearly physically identical character. Tatiana Maslany (The Vow, Woman in Gold, Stronger) helmed that series as the actress portraying all of the female clones. After watching a few behind-the-scenes tidbits from that show, I have a small inkling of what Rapace would have gone through for her roles.

All told, this movie was quite the ride. Be prepared for some shocking and disturbing moments, and keep in mind that the TV-MA rating is well-founded here. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one to any fan of sci-fi, action, or mystery.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 57%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 67%
Metascore – 47/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.9/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Movie Trailer:

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