Hi all, Rose here for another entry in my Sunday Night Playlist theme – this time it’s another film review for a movie that I liked quite a fair deal, probably more than I was expecting to. “What Happened to Monday” (Titled “Seven Sisters” in France) is a film that premiered on Netflix August 18th, a dystopian futristic thriller about a group of septuplets living in secret in an overpopulated society. In the year 2078, a solution to the overpopulated, underfed society is that only one child is allowed per household, while any siblings are taken into government custody to be put in cyrostatic sleep.
Fair warning, there are mild spoilers for the movie in this review after the poster and cut.
The sisters’s grandfather, Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe) is tasked with taking care of the girls after their mother dies giving birth, and their father is nowhere to be found. He raises them in secret, encouraging them to be themselves while hidden in the household, but when going out into the world, they live as one identity: Karen Settman. Each of the girls are named according to the day they can go outside (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) and have a group meeting each day to confer on what the “active” sibling experienced to keep up appearances. The young Settman siblings were wonderfully portrayed by Clara Read.
30 years later, we see each sister interact with her own distinct personality – Noomi Rapace does an excellent job giving each sister their own nuances, and I’ll admit it was fun watching them interact with each other in some of the film’s more quiet moments to start. Their world is subsequently upended, however, when Monday doesn’t return from her typical workday to confer with the sisters for their daily meeting. It was a day in which Karen was supposed to receive a major promotion at a high end bank, and as the ladies note: Monday has never been late for a daily meeting. Tuesday goes out the next day to get a handle of what happened, but is met with a rude awakening: the sisters have been discovered and there’s a deadly governmental cover-up afoot to eliminate them all. The film’s subsequent progression aims to show how and why this was, and how the sisters desperately try to survive.
Nicolette Cayman (played by Glenn Close) is the politician spear-heading the mass sibling cyrostasis project, and she’s desperate to keep the discovery of the Settman siblings from the rest of the world, in an effort to keep the statue in place and assure her re-election. I also thought Close’s portrayal was well done – ruthless and much in the vein of denying the cruel practice of tearing families and their lives apart.
The film becomes a action packed thriller after Tuesday ventures out to see what happened to Monday, and the rest of the Settman sisters scramble and fight for their survival (and each other). I honestly couldn’t take my eyes away from this mature, dark, dystopian film (with some added moments of cheesy humor). For me, I don’t see why this film couldn’t rise to cult status acclaim in the same way that the original Robocop or Blade Runner films could – it works well with its respective genre and provides an emotionally engaging watch with a heavy subject matter. Though the film has some very notable plot holes (my sister and I watched this together and we were quick to point out a few of them) and moments where you could predict what happens (I called one of the major reveals early on – but even then it still held enough suspense to where I wasn’t certain), the film still manages to throw a few curveballs that are surprising and tie the central conflict rather nicely. I feel if the film had just a little more time and a few tighter transitions, it could’ve tied those elements together in a more cohesive way, making the film round out and directly address some of the pertinent reveals.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film and I wouldn’t hesitate to watch this again.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.