Scrolling through Netflix and this one intrigued my flat and I. Never heard of it before and a new film of 2017. With an interesting different plot, we decided it was the film to watch. An action, futuristic, pessimistic, sci-fi life. A world of 2073, where overpopulation is at it’s most extreme.
When grandfather Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe), takes in his seven identical grandchildren, it’s more of a problem than just a large number of children to look after on your own. The city has adopted a new scheme to reduce the mass problem of overpopulation, one harsh and brutal. The Child Allocation Act. Any siblings are to be taken away from their families, and sent asleep, to be awoken in a life much later on, one less populated. There must only be one child to every family. This is monitored through bracelets that must be worn and scanned when going into any other sector of the city. An extremely controlled city. Crime is brutal when a sibling is taken and snatched away by the Child Allocation Bureau.
So Terrence comes up with an idea to save his seven grandchildren, they all become one identity, the identity of Karen Settman, who looks the same and acts the same. With seven children and seven days of the week, they all can only leave the house one per day, on the day of their name. Monday goes out on Monday, Tuesday on Tuesday, etc etc etc. And this works all the way up to them being 30 years old, but things escalate when Monday disappears. This is where the action speeds up, tensions rise and it becomes very violent. Probably a good place to mention that this is a film for older ages, it is quite graphic and explicit, also it swears a lot.
All seven Karen Settmans are played by the same actress, Noomi Rapace. I’ve personally never seen her in a film before, but she is brilliant in this. All seven siblings are of course all different as they are all different people pretending to be one. In the home we know them as their true selves. Monday is Miss Perfect or the one who disappears. Tuesday’s life is dominated on drugs. Wednesday is sporty, constantly punching or working out. Thursday is the rebellious one, hating the life she has been dealt. Friday is the technological mind. Saturday, the party girl. And finally, Sunday the believer. Quite stereotypical in roles, but that is how it is portrayed, they are the main characteristics that shine through. But they are characters that are brilliant and appreciated amongst the film.
Throughout the film, there are flashbacks to their childhood, building their characteristics and their life as secret and hidden. As “what happens to one of you, happens to all…”, they all must look the same, never be found out. This is done through end of day meetings, where they tell each other what they have experienced. The extremes they go to is impressive, but routine is destroyed when one sibling goes missing, then quickly another.
I really enjoyed ‘What Happened to Monday’. It is such a different plot to many other films I’ve seen before. Pre-warning it is very pessimistic, nothing seems like it’s going to get better. It is tense and you route for the sisters as they struggle through this controlled society. I would definitely watch it again. It was confusing in some places, but that just brings the audience in more to understand the mystery of where Monday has actually disappeared to. Are you not a little intrigued anyway?