• Name: What Happened to Monday
• Year: 2017
• Country: UK, France, Belgium
• Director: Tommy Wirkola
• Main cast: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe
• Runtime: 123 minutes
• Production company: Nexus Factory, Raffaella Productions, SND Films
When science fiction and a good dose of social criticism get crossed, sometimes you get a story like What Happened to Monday (2017). In a not so distant future, where overpopulation and famine have forced governments to undertake a drastic One-Child Policy, seven identical sisters (all of them portrayed by Noomi Rapace) live a hide-and-seek existence pursued by the Child Allocation Bureau. The Bureau, directed by the fierce Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), enforces a strict family-planning agenda that the sisters outwit by taking turns assuming the identity of one person: Karen Settman. Taught by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe) who raised and named them – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – each can go outside once a week as their common identity, but are only free to be themselves in the prison of their own apartment. That is until, one day, Monday does not come home. Interesting and intriguing, no? Yeah, I thought the same. So when I saw that the movie was part of Sitges Film Festival 2017, it was one of the ones I marked as a mandatory to watch. And I didn’t get disappointed. Not at all!
This is the second international film by Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola, responsible of the modern horror essentials Dead Snow (2009) and Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead (2014), as well as the underrated Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), a movie that I personally appreciate a lot. And probably What Happened to Monday (2017) is his best work to date. This also marks the first time he has directed a movie in which he didn’t participate in the script, but that doesn’t mean the final product lacks personality.
The movie is filled with action sequences quite effectively solved. The pace never slows down and although the 2 hours of running time it feels like a walk in the park, never entering in those so very dangerous moments when the audience disconnects from the plot. And that is a not so easy quest to achieve, so Tommy Wirkola has definitely done a good job here. A cold future, a strong government oppression, a militarized country always alert to force the population to follow the rules, it all garnished with the perfect dose of special effects.
It is fair to emphasize the work of the main cast, formed by the always effective Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe. It is outstanding how Noomi Rapace manages to imprint a different personality for each one of the sisters she plays. A choice of clothing and style can help to that task, obviously, but once again she proves she is one of the most versatile young actresses of the moment. Versatility seven times!
Netflix bought the distribution rights of What Happened to Monday (2017) for the American market and some other territories. So if your country is one of the lucky ones to have this title in its catalog, don’t hesitate and watch it. I honestly doubt it could disappoint.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1536537
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