What Happened to Monday (2017)


What Happened to Monday is a new project by the production company Netflix, which is obviously trying to expand its range to all possible genres. This time it’s a dystopian sci-fi by Tommy Wirkola, who has the vibe that those who are not fans of this genre must also watch it. In addition to high production values, what sets him apart is the actress Nomi Rapas, who plays the roles of the seven sisters.

In some fifty years, humanity is experiencing a crisis due to overpopulation and food shortages. Scientists are finding a way to increase crop yields through genetic modification, but that entails more and more births with twins, triplets, etc. Therefore, a campaign is being carried out according to which each family’s offspring must be limited to one child. However, seven identical sisters live in one apartment, raised by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe). They are named after the days of the week, share one identity and once a week each goes out into the outside world. The plot arises when Mandey does not return to the apartment one evening…

Numi Rapas’s work in collaboration with costume designers and hairdressers must be immediately praised, especially when the quality of the screenplay material she worked with is taken into account. The characters of the sisters are classic archetypes such as geek girl, sexy girl or rebel girl, which are not elaborated at all, but she manages to give them liveliness with details. This is best seen in the scenes when the sisters are at the same table and I am a little disappointed that their characterization was not worked on.

Instead of elaborating the characters, the emphasis is on surprisingly brutal action, which in the case of this genre does not have to be a necessary minus. We are certainly used to seeing the main actress in darker films like Prometheus or the Millennium Trilogy, so it was not a big problem for her to jump into dystopian sci-fi, in which she has to show the qualities of an action heroine. I liked the fight scene in which several sisters participate, because Numi nicely portrayed how each sister reacts differently to violence and aggression. Overall, the film transforms surprisingly quickly into intense action, although I expected much more drama.

Apart from the weak elaboration of the sisters’ characters, which is why we were deprived of emotional connection with them, the script cannot boast of elaborating the dystopian theme in which the action takes place. Somehow everything just acts as a stage for action choreography, although it has the potential for much more. I was interested in the growing up of the sisters or how each of them copes in the outside world, but it is obvious that I had too high expectations from the script, to which even a few holes in the story do not go in my favor.

What is missing on the screenplay level is very much compensated by the visual impression. The director relies a lot on the natural look to which he adds various gadgets, and the technology is certainly not as developed as most expect it to be in fifty years. Numerous scenes burst with action, chases, shootings, explosions and blood, and the game of cat and mouse becomes more violent as the duration of the film progresses. However, watching those scenes (mostly) I didn’t feel the real adrenaline rush, like say watching John Wick, but it all kind of seemed routine to me, with no real fun. What is also worth mentioning are the special effects when we watch the main actress interpret several characters on the screen at the same time.