What Happened to Monday: Interesting Sci-Fi Concept Never Really Takes Off
Glenn CloseNoomi Rapace...
Action & AdventureDrama
In 3 Cinemas
Taking on not just one or two but, seven starring roles, Noomi Rapace – the Swedish actress who rose to fame back in 2009 after her riveting performance in the original adaptation of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo – has her hands full in dystopian thriller, What Happened to Monday. Despite an interesting concept, though, it all comes to be a silly and a thinly-written B-movie actioner which fails rather spectacularly to take advantage of its potential.
The story opens in 2073 with a montage of news reports which attempt to portray the current state of the world which as it happens, is now suffering extreme overpopulation. As a result, the government – which has also begun putting forth many GMO experiments in order to battle world hunger – has created the Child Allocation Act; a program designed to limit families to having only one child. In order to enforce this law, the Child Allocation Bureau, led by the deliciously devious and determined Nicolette Cayman (Close), is in charge of rounding up any siblings before placing them in cryosleep where they will await the day when the world’s population has been rendered more manageable.
When Terrence Setten (Dafoe) receives the news that his estranged daughter – who died during the delivery – gave birth to identical septuplet girls, he knows that he will have to go out of his way to keep their existence a secret. Naming the girls after days of the week, the girls – who are now fully-grown versions of Noomi Rapace – have had the time to be played into the routine which finds each of them assuming the role of Karen Setten on a rotation. Trouble comes knocking when Monday – considered to be one of the most responsible of the group – doesn’t return home one night; a situation which ends up throwing the girls and their entire existence into complete chaos.
Working from a script by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson – which just so happens to have been featured on the 2010 Blacklist for best unproduced screenplays – and directed by Dead Snow’s Tommy Wirkola, WHTM plays with a clever concept and it does manage to boast a handful of relatively enticing moments and thrilling action set-pieces. However, as a whole, the execution is surprisingly lacklustre with the film struggling to find the necessary tempo and depth to bring the characters and story to life.
The idea of the story itself is not entirely awful and Rapace, who has been given the task of bringing seven different characters to life, is clearly the story’s main and strongest attraction. Embodying each of the girls’ identities – ranging from the spiritual and wild to nerdy and serious – is no easy task, especially when all of the characters are so thinly written. But, Rapace – who as we already know has the acting chops to get the job done – manages to elevate the material given to great effect. However, gaps in logic and lack of general excitement hold what is an interesting idea back from ever really taking off.