Monday 4 March 2024

What Happened to Monday (2017)

Norwegian w
riter director Tommy Wirkola was in charge of this project following some violent fun previously with the likes of Dead Snow (and Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead), Violent Night and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, but if you don't like that genre, don't be put off of watching this outing, which is much more a Sci-Fi action film and well worth your time.

The star of the show is Noomi Rapace (Black Crab, You Won't Be Alone, Stockholm, The Secrets We Keep) who plays 7 roles in the film! That's right, and this forms the basis of the Sci-Fi bit as we join the story in two eras, 2043 and 2073. In the former, we're shown glimpses of a world where human overpopulation of earth is using up all the planet's resources far too quickly, so the authorities clamp down allowing only one child per couple/family. Woe betide anyone stepping outside of this regulation!

Those who do so, have their subsequent offspring taken away, the authorities setting up cryogenics chambers so that the kids can be brought back at a later date when things have settled back on earth to an equilibrium. These measures are enforced by military means as squads of professionals infiltrate the population with a green card to pretty much do what they like to enforce it and have set up digital check-points all over the place.

Anyway, back to Noomi's characters' tale and we witness 7 identical little girls being looked after in an apartment by their grandfather, played by Willem Dafoe (Inside, Poor Things, Tom & Viv, Nightmare Alley), teaching them the dangers of being caught and learning survival skills to use if and when they are exposed. By the way, the reason everyone is having multiple births like this is because the genetically modified food that scientists are creating to combat the population problem has that as a side-effect - all pregnancies produce big litters!

Grandfather disappears as we leap 30 years forward and now spend time with the Seven Sisters (which, incidentally, was the original title of this film) named after the days of the week. Out in public, at work, facing other people, they assume the name of their mother (Karen Settman) who, incidentally, died during the birthing of the kids. There's no mention of the father, I don't think. So each day, one of them goes out, dressed up to look the same, so each of them gets freedom from the apartment one day per week. They have to share their day with each other at the end of it so as to make sure the other 6 don't get caught out not knowing something from the days when it's not their turn. Keeping up at the back?!

One day, Monday goes out to work and doesn't come back. Then Tuesday goes to find her the next day and here begins the thriller bit with plenty of action as the authorities appear to have worked out what's going on. Throw in an officer who seems to have fallen in love with (at least) one of them, willing to bend the rules in his personal quest, a nasty politician, played menacingly by Glenn Close, seeking re-election by fair means or foul, a nasty bloke at the head of our hit-squad in focus and it turns somewhat into a bit of a thrill-ride!

This is very much the Noomi Show with her in the 7 roles in pretty much every scene. It's edge of the seat stuff often and she holds the film together in a fabulous performance. The special effects are pretty much seamless when time and again, we're in amongst the 7 sisters and they are all interacting together. Beautifully executed and shot. Close and Dafoe are really not in it very much at all, but what they do, as we'd expect, they do very well.

It's a great idea for a story which could easily have become a bit daft in the wrong hands, but production values are high and what we've ended up with is a real cracker of a thriller which nobody'll nod off in, during the 2 hour runtime. Yes, there are plot-holes for those looking for them, but for the rest of us it's great fun, totally absorbing and engaging. Highly recommended.

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