Published on December 19th, 2017 | by Tyson Thompson0
What Happened To Monday? (aka Seven Sisters)
At the center of this revisionist plot the notion of a regimented existence doesn’t seem too far fetched, as we see a totalitarian rule spread throughout a fragmented society. Our true protagonist, in an uncanny role from Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), deserves high praise for seamlessly taking on seven different versions of herself. She must stealthily keep these identities hidden from a merciless Tyrannical leader played by Glenn Close who is enforcing her idea of population control.
The coldness and complete abandonment that you see in Close’s eyes is truly a scary thing. Swift action is taken for those who do not comply to her regulations creating a genuine and terrifying duality. Ultimately a survivalists tale, Monday never tries to be enigmatic in its concept, and for the most part stays away from virtual redundancy so often seen in films of this nature.
Most of the tension is delivered through dense dystopian imagery, and an urgent sense of governmental control by any means necessary. The level of mystique stays with us via a day by day chain of events, although we clearly see directly into the mind of the lead character(s) through internal conversations.
Finnish director Tony Wirkola and cinematographer Jose David Montero work the social unrest vision to a more art house crowd, and play off old formulas to create a film with new sensibilities. This story loosely plays off of a real life Chinese policy set in place in the late 70’s, that restricted families to one child in an attempt to keep their environment and diplomacy in order.
Seasoned veteran Willem Dafoe is effective in a nurturing but minimal performance, as he tries to protect his offspring of girls from extermination. His modest discernment as the father figure offers some much needed humanity in this futuristic world that seems bleak to those not working directly with the government.
Leading into the third act the character driven thriller seems to falter a little under the weight of its lofty expectations and budget. It is also clear by then that Rapace is still running the show and she never lets up. “If we get this promotion, It’s all thanks to Friday. She makes us all look like a genius,” one of her characters says in an early scene.
A few solid and memorable action sequences keep us engaged enough for the build up to the films rather tepid climax. With a running time just exceeding two hours, Max Botkins script is pushed to its limits and we begin to feel the angst of a drawn out drama. Still you can definitely give some credit to an unusual adventure that performs quite well without the help of overexaggerated CGI effects. You can also respect a film that ultimately sticks to its guns, even if it doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory one would wish for. Initially released in France with the alternate title Seven Sisters.
This article was translated in French by Anne-Cécile Baer Porter.