As a Brian De Palma (Passion) and Ridley Scott (Prometheus) enthusiast, Noomi Rapace has been a personal favorite. With What Happened To Monday, she delivers a tour de force performance that, despite its gimmicky plotline, is grounded in humanity. It’s premieres on Netflix today, and if you’re a sci-fi/thriller fan, it’s a must watch.
Set in a dystopian future where resources are nearly depleted, What Happened To Monday centers on seven siblings, all played by Noomi Rapace and named after a day in the week, who live a sheltered existence thanks to the “One Child Policy” law. Push forth by politician Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), this rule allows families only one child to raise, with the rest of the children placed on cryogenic sleep to be released when the world’s resources catches up to overpopulation.
Willem Dafoe is the sisters’ grandfather, a man who raises them (his daughter died during childbirth) under a strict schedule; each girl is allowed to take on the identity of Karen Settman for one day of the week (for example, the person named Monday goes out into society on a Monday).
Flash forward thirty years later and these siblings, each with their distinct personality, are trying their best to remain hidden in plain sight. But these young girls are now adults with their own dreams, beliefs, and desires, and even though good old gramps had an efficient day planner, the family is slightly starting to fray.
When Monday doesn’t show up by the end of the day, the remaining women must figure out what happened to their beloved sister (she’s the most responsible one of the bunch) before it’s too late.
If you’ve seen Dead Snow, Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, then you know director Tommy Wirkola smatters a healthy share of humor into his action packed (and sometimes bloody) material. Though there are a few moments of levity (mainly in the first act) What Happened To Monday is his most somber work to date, and the journey in finding out “what happened to Monday” leads to tragic results.
Though sunshine and happy thoughts really isn’t on the menu in a bleak future, a ton of action is in the offing. Along with some serious butt kicking, Rapace shows off a bit of sexuality, cunning, nurturing, and a ton of sisterly love in the process. Even at 123 minutes, What Happened To Monday has a ton of action and conflict to cover, and a few of the sisters end up (understandably so) a bit underdeveloped.
That being said, each of these women add up to a wonderfully complex Karen Settman, and watching them slowly play their part in an even bigger puzzle makes What Happened To Monday an absolutely compelling watch.
Powered by first rate and multi-faceted work from Noomi Rapace and sure handed direction for Wirkola, What Happened To Monday is a must-see addition to the Neflix library. See this movie before some idiot throws out the spoilers!!
What Happened To Monday CinemAddicts Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
To listen to this month’s episode of CinemAddicts, please listen below (movies reviewed include Columbus and In This Corner of the World):