Director: Tommy Wirkola
Sometimes the concept is just dumb enough, expectations are sufficiently low and the cast – or certainly the lead – gives their all. So it gets across the line. That’s the case with What Happened To Monday, a by-rote sci-fi thriller/future dystopia that sees birth-rate managed by the tough Child Allocation Bureau (Glenn Close is Nicolette Cayman’s the Bureau’s ice-cold director).
So seven identical sisters – yes! – decide to outwit the system by each taking a day of the week to appear in public as the same single entity: Karen Settmah. Actually the decision was made for them – they grew up only knowing this. Their grandfather (Willem Dafoe, sleepwalking but still with some charm) taught them from birth. We find this out in flashbacks of course.
It’s ludicrous, yes, but Noomi Rapace (you know her from the original Dragon Tattoo movies, and many other things perhaps) works hard here doing seven times the work of a normal role. The sisters are each named after a day of the week – and spend most days of the week in hiding, gathering information; somehow they’ve all formed completely separate identities; they never get to assume these in the real world – they only ever operate as Karen.
So – again – it’s fucking ludicrous really.
But there’s something in this – enough of a grain of a concept, the paranoia, control, surveillance, the cold heart of tech…well we all live with some conspiracy theories now and either fear or ignorance – or fear of ignorance. Or all…
So What Happened To Monday won’t set the night alight, but pick the right time to watch it – it was early on a Sunday morning for me – and you might just dig into it way more than you perhaps thought.
It reminded me of the sci-fi and erotic thrillers I watched in the 90s. It reminded me of several straight-to-TV/straight-to-disc films; the best examples of which of course instantly escape my mind.
This is not meant to be damning with faint praise at all – quite the opposite, faint praise be damned! I rather enjoyed this film. It sat on my shelf for weeks, and months even. And when I plucked up the courage I was duly rewarded.
Some days that’s (more than) enough.
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