#Film Review: Netflix’s What Happened to Monday (2017)

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Rating: 5/5

If you liked the Hunger Games, Netflix’s series “3%”, Stasis and similar TV and film production depicting dystopian future, you will love this new film on Netflix. And, if you are like me and you don’t like when the film is based only on action but you prefer to watch a film that also has a strong story and a good message, then you will absolutely love this film.

In a nutshell, this film offers something for everyone. It has some good action, lots of blood and shooting, but it also has a good story that brings questions on several levels. This is a story of love, devotion and betrayal that shows what people are capable of doing for each other, to protect their loved ones, but also how they will turn against some loved ones to protect the other loved ones. In this, choices are horrible and painful and it is difficult to take sides, because we really do not know what we are capable of and what we would do in a certain situation unless we find ourselves in it.

The film portrays a dystopian high tech world in which the population number is so high that there is no food and water for everyone. The authorities shift to GMO food but even that is not enough. Thus, a Child Allocation comes into force and people are forced to have only one child to stop overpopulation. Their identities are checked via electronic bracelets that have all personal data, and they have to pass checkpoints controlled by Bureau led by Dr Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close)  to confirm identity and being the only child. If someone has more than one child and the Bureau finds out, the child will be taken away from them and sent to the storage where it will be frozen until a better world comes where there is no population issue. Or, so they were told…

However, people are trying to hide additional siblings from the Bureau and we get to meet a family of seven sisters hidden by their grandfather. They are named by days of the week as they were born, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When they go to the outside world, they only go once a week on their own day and they all take a single identity of Karen Settman.

Obviously, living like this presents a challenge as some sisters feel like living in a cage, as if they do not have their own identity, they have to have daily meetings to tell each other everything that happened that day so that they all know everything, etc. The viewer really wonders whether grandfather did them a favour when he saved their lives and destined them to a life of hiding and fear of Bureau’s listing. We become painfully aware of this dilemma when one of the sisters says it would be better to get listed and frozen than live like this. Grandfather, in other words, destined them to an awful life simply because he could not cope with losing granddaughters and keeping only one grandchild after his beloved daughter died right after giving birth to seven identical girls.

Everything works well, with the exception of internal stresses. Sisters go to work, report to each other in details in daily meetings, and they are about to get a promotion. They all wear the same bracelet with one single identity and they pass checkpoints where they are checked each day for their identity and being the only child. They wear a wig, dress in a plain business style, and they work hard on a presentation meant to earn them promotion.

It all works well until Monday disappears. Sisters find themselves desperately looking for her, and the first one to go out is an insecure Tuesday. Then she disappears too, and the others have to look for both sisters, as well as worry for being listed by the Bureau. Asking themselves what’s going on and how they will find missing sisters, remaining five sisters find themselves in a battle to save their own lives as well as in a painful discovery that not all sisters are as loyal to each other as grandfather has taught them to. In addition, we learn how love conflicts with family loyalty and what people are willing to do to protect their love…

Noomi Close portrays all seven Settman sisters, and she does it wonderfully. Thus, she vividly portrays various characters, and we feel as if each sister is different even though one actress portrays all sisters.

This is a really good movie, and I massively enjoyed it. It really presents a struggle not to comment on everything in the movie to analyse it in-depth, but I am trying not to be a spoiler because this should not be missed.

Thank you for reading.

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