Review: What Happened to Monday

Noomi Rapace in What Happened to Monday

I have mixed emotions about What Happened to Monday. Some things about it were well done, and some were disappointing. The film is streaming on Netflix now, so you can take a look and make up your own mind.

Noomi Rapace stars as seven siblings. They live in a world where overpopulation forced the government to allow parents to have only one child. At the same time the government developed an artificial food that has a powerful side effect: it causes multiple births. They solved this double whammy by stealing away children from parents who had more than one.

Noomi Rapace in What Happened to Monday
The Karen Settman persona

Willem Dafoe as Terrence Settman, the grandparent of the 7 sisters who all go by Karen Settman when out of the house, manages to hide the girls. He teaches them how to survive in hiding. Each girl is named for a day of the week, and that is the only day they can leave the house.

Glenn Close plays Nicolette Cayman, the person in charge of enforcing the one child per family rule. It was one of her least inspiring performances.

Also important to the story was Adrian (Marwan Kenzari), who was involved with one of the sisters and eventually all of the sisters. Adrian was an idiot. He couldn’t tell the difference between the Karen he screwed every Monday and the virgin Karen with blonde hair he screwed thinking it was his regular girl. Idiot or not, he had to be in the story because of some things that are revealed at the very end.

Noomi Rapace did a fine job as the 7 sisters. There were very limited delineations between them, mostly hair and dress styles. In a film, unlike serial television, there was no time to develop 7 personalities. The sisters were so ill-defined I almost wondered why we were supposed to care whether they lived or died. There was some treachery among them, but they mostly functioned as a unit.

The technical magic needed to put all 7 of the sisters in the same shot was beautifully done. All the scenes with more than one Noomi Rapace looked fantastic and believable. I also liked the advanced technological gizmos they imagined for the year 2073 when the movie was set.

The tension was high throughout the film. The music and the images of their living space, the crowded streets, and the government cryogenics place for sibling removal kept the tension up. The action scenes and the fight scenes were well done. What Happened to Monday was directed by Tommy Wirkola.

I didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the ending. I didn’t find the sisters to be heroic enough to cheer for or evil enough to hate. Even Glenn Close’s character wasn’t well-developed enough to hate. In story terms, the protagonists were weak and the villains were weak. It’s hard to get invested in such characters, which is why I found the story lacking.

Many users who commented about the film on IMDB loved it. I thought it was okay but had numerous flaws. If you watch it, please share your opinion in the comments.

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