What Happened to Monday

The world is overpopulated and we are consuming resources at an untenable rate – these are facts, not fiction. It’s kind of depressing that in a dystopian, sci-fi future, the architect of our demise is real, but our willingness to do something about it is the fiction.

In this particular 2078, a strict one-child policy has been made law and is brutally enforced. The GMOs in our food has led to unfathomable rates of multiple-births, so every human is braceleted and check-points are set up to monitor for siblings, who are then removed from the population in order to be cryogenically frozen for a time  when the earth may sustain them. But as Willem Dafoe watches his beautiful and beloved daughter die while giving birth to septuplets, he vows to keep the seven sisters secret. Named for each day of the week, they are raised behind closed doors to be smart and MV5BOGE5ZmVjOGUtZmQzOS00OGQyLWEwNDEtNjkyNDRiZTBhNDA1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDkzNTM2ODg@._V1_self-sufficient. Each one may only venture outside on the day of the week for which they are named – outside their home, they live as “Karen Settman”, a character that all 7 must be equally devoted to keeping sacred.

Of course, when Monday goes missing, the remaining 6 are going to have a heck of a time tracking her down since between them they only have the one avatar allowed to exist in the world. So the script basically forces itself into an anything-goes amalgam where we’re never sure if we’re watching a gritty crime thriller, or a family drama, or a murder mystery, or jagged social commentary. There are a couple of really great set pieces that may get your heart pumping quickly enough to sustain you during the more aimless scenes in between. It’s an uneven movie, overstuffed for sure, but an interesting premise even if its denouement is somewhat predictable.

Noomi Rapace gets to play all seven juicy roles, and she gives each Settman sister a twist of her own. It’s fun to watch her interact with herself, and it’s a trick pulled off rather deftly. But for me, personally, the  most interesting part of this movie is imaging myself and my sisters (there are “only” 4 of us, luckily – the world could not take a single one more) co-existing even nominally peacefully in an apartment for years, sharing one single identity. The four of us are nothing alike and I can’t even imagine what a compromise would begin to look like. One of  us lives and breathes hockey, and one of us cannot physically stand upright on skates. How do you even do that halfway? One of us is covered in tattoos and one of us refers to them as “prison ink” with a judgmental eye roll. Growing up, we couldn’t agree on a single television show to watch. How would we agree on a single hairstyle, job, boyfriend, drink preference? And let’s face it: whoever pulls the Saturday shift will never have to go to work or school, while poor Monday will forever be stuck without a single drop of fun.

Sean watched this movie and had a very different takeaway. He saw only potential: since we are childfree by choice, he thought our right to a child could be sold to the highest bidder, and he envisioned us living comfortably off the proceeds. So in summation: Jay can’t even imagine a fictional world in which she is capable of compromise, Sean is mercenary, and What Happened to Monday is an entertaining but not quite brilliant addition to Netflix’s sci-fi catalogue.

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “What Happened to Monday

  1. steveforthedeaf

    It wasn’t perfect but it was one of those I’d rather see them try and fail than not push the boundaries. Noomi worked her butt off too playing all those versions of herself. Dafoe is always worth watching

    Like

    Reply
  2. Christopher

    This is a fascinating premise and I’m glad Netflix has added something relatively good to its catalog of original films. And this may be more timely than we want to admit. It’s hard to say when exactly but we seem to be rushing headlong toward a point where if we don’t limit our population growth nature will do it for us.

    Like

    Reply
  3. allthingsthriller

    I think Noomi Rapace is terrific so I’m happy to watch it. Willem Defoe is really good too although I’m never comfortably convinced when he plays the good guy. Informative, insightful and humorous review. Great as always.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Liz A.

    If you like seeing an actress play multiple characters and interact with herself, you must immediately begin watching Orphan Black. It’s a series. It was on BBC America. (I have no idea where it’d be available in Canada. It might be on Netflix.)

    Like

    Reply
  5. J.

    I have this on my list and I’m gonna get to it soon (it’s rare that I find time for a movie over 90 minutes these days!). A great review and opening paragraph, Jay…

    Like

    Reply
  6. Invisibly Me

    I had this on my To-Watch-List but wasn’t sure how excited I was by the prospect of watching it as I don’t think I knew much (anything, really) about it. Will make sure it stays on there and that I get around to it soon! Very nicely covered as always, Jay! x

    Like

    Reply

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s