What Happened to Monday (2017)
As the movie opens, we see scenes of overcrowded places like city streets, subways, and beaches. We learn that the world is overpopulated and is getting worse every year. We hear people like President Obama talk about climate change and overpopulation. We learn that South America has been declared a disaster zone and that food shortages are rampant, as a man says, “Too many people, not enough food.” Genetically modified foods are being fast-tracked to keep up with demands for food, taking more and more chances that something could go wrong. Because of the tinkering with the food source, there has now been a spike in multiple births and genetic defects. Dr. Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close) has been put in command of a project titled the child allocation act calling for only one child per family.
Checkpoints have been set up all across the nation, and each person is given an identification bracelet. Families with more than one child will need to pick which child they want to keep and then the remain children are put in a cryogenic sleep to be awakened when the overpopulation crisis has been relieved. We see a child willingly going into a cryogenic chamber as the doctor says on camera “Cryosleep, a way to a better world.”
We see a nursery where there are seven newborn babies crying away as a nurse attends to them. We see a worried Terrence Settman looking through a window at the babies as a doctor approaches Terrence. We learn that Terrence’s daughter, who he hasn’t seen in years, died in childbirth. His daughter died before being able to tell him who the father was. The doctor asks how Terrence will manage and keep the babies a secret. Terrence replies “I’ll manage; I have to.” Terrence has decided that since there are seven babies, he will name them the days of the week. Will Terrence succeed in keeping his grand babies alive and how will they survive in a world that will hunt them down if they are discovered?
Set in the near future, What Happened to Monday is a Sci-Fi action film starring Willem Dafoe, Glen Close and Noomi Rapace playing the seven grown-up septuplets that to the outside world are one person, Karen. The action sequences are fast-moving and well-choreographed with Rapace selling the action sequences as we know she can. Unfortunately, the movie takes too long to get going with the opening sequence incredibly dull. The film does start moving once the action sequence’s startup. I did enjoy the flashback sequences where we see how the children were brought up and taught by their grandfather. I also enjoyed seeing how the grownup septuplets changed their looks (some have different hairstyles and colors) to portray Karen in the outside world. I would have liked more of a setup to get to know each of the seven siblings, to see what influenced why they turned out differently but the film rushes into the action sequences too quickly to get to know their quirks.
Rapace is the reason to see this film. She gives seven unique performances as each sibling has a very different personality and outlook on life. It’s dazzling and brilliant tour de force performance that Rapace was meant to play. It’s impressive just how easily on the screen she makes performing the seven characters look and feel. Each sister feels different on the screen as Rapace plays each part with a precision that makes the idea fathomable. The splendid cast is led by Willem Dafoe playing the father who risks everything for his family, Glen Close as the scientist responsible for the program and Christian Rubeck who is sent out by Glen Close’s character to do her dirty deeds.
I wish the film, written by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson and directed by Tommy Wirkola, was a little tighter as it feels its length of two hours and three minutes. The movie tries too hard to provide the twists and turns of the plot, and the film takes forever to end. Despite the length and the plot holes, What Happened to Monday is worth seeing due to Noomi Rapace and her brilliant work to make us believe she is seven different sisters. My Rating: Bargain Matinee
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
The film is currently available on Netflix.
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