I was looking forward to the new directorial work of the violent Norwegian Tommy Wirkola. At one time, he became famous for the dashing thrash “Operation Dead Snow” ( Død snø ) about Nazi zombies who suddenly awakened and shredded the offenders, greedy for someone else’s gold. Then he shot in Hollywood a peppy fantasy thriller “Witch Hunters” ( Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters ) about the grown-up Hansel and Gretel. So his attempt to build a serious and gloomy dystopia could not fail to interest. Moreover, the fantastic thriller “What Happened to Monday?” – had a surprisingly intriguing synopsis. Due to the critical overpopulation of the Earth, the authorities are actively fighting large families and freezing extra offspring in cryogenic chambers. And one caring grandfather has been hiding seven (!) granddaughters in his own apartment for many years. As they grow up, the problem arises with socialization and going out into the world. And he has no choice but to distribute the days of the week between them. For example, Monday can go to school and then work only on Mondays, Tuesday – on Tuesdays, and so on.Underground life would have gone on as usual even thirty years after the beginning of forced seclusion, if one day Monday would not have disappeared without a trace. The remaining sisters have no choice but to find out the cause of the loss and try to find it.If you are now imagining a cool fantasy detective in a high-tech future, then no, you did not guess. Like most other “original products” Netflix, we have a gray, faceless and tortured middle peasant middle peasant, in which there is literally nothing to cling to. Well, perhaps for Numi Rapace, who was forced to play seven roles at once – however, with varying degrees of success.As is usually the case in bad sci-fi films, the gloomy world is not worked out at all, information about it is given to the viewer in tiny segments and half-hints. The action mainly takes place either indoors or in the scenery of some abandoned factories. A rare action just terribly staged and even worse filmed.Of course, it could not do without slums, where the servants of the law prefer not to meddle and where no birth rates apply.And the main disadvantage: the final “This is a turn!” (and both of them) is foreseen long before the denouement. One can, of course, say that it is impossible to invent anything fundamentally new. But as a counterargument, I can cite the brilliant picture ” 1984 “: despite the logical and expected ending, it is served absolutely amazingly and really unsettles. There is nothing close to similar in What Happened to Monday. In general, I got the impression that Wirkola was so tired of the sluggish process that he left the set before all the work was completed. If this actually happened, it would definitely explain the crumpled last third of the film. But no, the uninspiring result will have to be attributed, as the greats say, to “creative failure.”
Since there was no Internet at home for half a day (the provider changed the equipment), I watched a couple of films, in particular, What Happened to Monday, which has not yet been officially released, which appeared on torrents in excellent quality.The film was interesting even at the trailer stage and acted in a rather complex genre of social science fiction dystopia.
The plot is as follows – people have completely polluted the planet (cliché), the Earth is overpopulated (cliché), an evil corporation (cliché) offers a solution – no more than one child in the family. But what to do with extra children who have already been born or who are just getting ready to be born. They are taken by force from their parents and placed in cryosleep until better times, when ecology and the economy will allow society to have more children. Well, a certain pensioner of regional significance at one time spawned as many as 7 twin girls, of which, according to the law, he needs to send 6 for freezing. He cunningly hid them in his apartment, named them after the days of the week, and taught them to live the life of one person. And so that they would be similar, when one of the sisters lost a piece of a finger in childhood, he himself cut off the same piece of a finger from the rest, so that they would be similar. Well, then he somehow died, and the girls grew up into rather archetypal ladies performed by Numi Rapace – here you have an informal rebel, a dreamy infantile, a computer geek and a boy-woman. In general, 7 different images that are forced to play the role of an employee in the banking sector.It looks like this – one day one sister goes to work, and in the evening she tells others what she saw so that the legend does not fall apart. The next day comes another and so on in a circle for 20+ years. And everything seems to be going well, but one day Monday does not come home and it is not clear what happened to her and where. A frantic search for the loss begins, while the sisters cannot give themselves away, otherwise the local fascists will catch everyone and freeze them.
The future according to the film What Happened to Monday, alas, is bleak. Humanity has become so prolific that there is not enough food for everyone (as if now there is enough for everyone). Then some masculine aunt says: let’s introduce a policy of one child everywhere, and we will freeze and put all “extra” children on a shelf until better times. And everyone agreed.
And then came the dystopia. Gloomy soldiers in black roam the streets, checkpoints are poked everywhere. At every step, using special bracelets that everyone is required to wear, they check whether you are really the only son / daughter, or not the only one, that is, someone’s vile brother / sister. If it suddenly turns out that it’s a brother / sister, a special brother-sister truck immediately arrives, and remember your name.
In such an inhuman and, frankly, poorly thought-out world (citizens took the forced removal of offspring from them very sluggishly), seven girls are born at once. Their grandfather, Willem Dafoe, is devising a cunning long-term strategy to keep everyone from freezing. Gives them names in honor of the days of the week and severely punishes them to go outside only on the day corresponding to the name. After some time, the wise grandfather Defoe dies, but the granddaughters do not stop following his precepts, taking turns playing the role of a specially designed personality. This goes on for thirty years, until one, Monday, disappears. The rest, from Tuesday to Sunday, together are taken to look for her.
The fantasy thriller “The Secret of the 7 Sisters” belongs to the category of films that imply an incredible, unexpected, shocking denouement. And the impression from such films largely depends on how incredible, unexpected and shocking this denouement actually is. In this case, it will not be difficult for an inquisitive and observant viewer to guess what happened to Monday (that, by the way, is the original name – What Happened to Monday?). It is enough not to be distracted, to notice the replicas of the characters and slightly strain the convolutions. Or do none of the above, in order to be sincerely and joyfully surprised at the end.
In any case, the scriptwriters did a poor job on the main task. The Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola, the author of the film about Nazi zombies Dead Snow, and the performer of the leading seven roles Numi Rapace, who replaced Ellen Ripley in Prometheus, has to take the rap for them. Both of them honestly try, giving out a few memorable moments.
In one, for example, a savvy twin strangles to death in the closet of a security officer who was sent to liquidate her, cuts off a piece of his finger and attaches it to the stump of hers in the place where just an identical piece is not enough to deceive the fingerprint scanner on the weapon. Then the same twin thrashes the pursuers, Matrix-style, while the other twin tells her on the phone where to run. The chase ends with a jump from rooftop to rooftop again in the style of “The Matrix”, but with an unexpected (really unexpected) ending.
Numi Rapace is generally well done and smart (plus a beauty). Not that all her incarnations were easily distinguishable from each other, but their characters were written at the level of “this one is a computer nerd, this one is a blonde, and this one has a short haircut.” So there should not be any special claims in this regard. Numi Rapace squeezes the maximum possible potential out of the material provided: she is good in action, and she speaks convincingly with herself, in the sense of imaginary sisters, and does not disdain sex scenes with full nudity, for which, of course, a special bow to her.
This is where the merits end. Unfortunately, neither Tommy’s tricks nor Numi’s efforts hide the fact that What Happened to Monday is a typical movie with a modest budget. Seven main heroines with the same face are, of course, yes, but they are used exclusively as biofuel, and there is almost no dramaturgy between them. The plot, supposedly famously twisted, leads to a banal twist, and they forgot to breathe life into the world against which it develops.
Poverty, of course, is not a vice, but in order to plausibly portray the gloomy dystopian society of the future, the atmosphere of a futuristic metropolis where hopelessness and total control reign, either expensive special effects or diabolical ingenuity (better all together) are needed, and not three and a half locations made of cardboard , which are held on with PVA glue and a hacky script.
What Happened to Monday (known in several territories as Seven Sisters) is a 2017 dystopian science-fiction action-thriller movie directed by Tommy Wirkola.