"Sevenfold Intrigue: Decoding `What Happened to Monday`"
Posted Monday, Nov 27, 2023 55
Set in a dystopian future where overpopulation has forced a strict one-child policy, `What Happened to Monday` presents a high-concept thriller directed by Tommy Wirkola. The film features seven identical sisters, each named after a day of the week, who live a covert existence sharing a single identity to evade the government`s harsh regulations. When Monday disappears, the remaining sisters must unravel the mystery of her absence, which plunges them into a dangerous world of conspiracy and secrets.
Exploring themes of identity, survival, and the intrusion of authoritarian rule on personal freedoms, the film tackles its narrative with a blend of suspense and sci-fi. The tone is dark and urgent, with the sisters` predicament exuding both the anxiety of claustrophobic conformity and the adrenaline rush of rebellion.
Noomi Rapace delivers a tour-de-force performance, portraying each sibling with distinct nuances that flesh out their individualities. Willem Dafoe offers a compassionate presence as the sisters’ grandfather, while Glenn Close commands the screen as the film`s steely antagonist, governing with an iron fist masked by a veneer of benevolence.
Wirkola directs with a palpable energy that juggles the complexities of a multiple-role thriller, balancing fast-paced action sequences with the film`s more emotionally charged moments. His direction keeps the storyline taut, ensuring that the multiple threads interweave without tangling.
The score by Christian Wibe echoes the film`s escalating tension and futuristic setting, providing a soundscape that`s both driving and atmospheric, enhancing the stakes of the sisters` covert existence.
Cinematography by José David Montero captures the sterile aesthetic of the dystopian world, with shots that amplify the narrative`s themes of surveillance and subterfuge.
The production design portrays a convincingly grim setting, where technology`s cold, hard edges are contrasted against the warmer, more intimate spaces that the sisters occupy when hidden from the world`s prying eyes.
Special effects play a critical role in realizing the seven identical sisters on screen together, blending practical effects and digital wizardry to create seamless interactions that are crucial to the film`s premise.
The editing is sharp, particularly in sequences that require meticulous timing to convincingly portray the sisters` parallel actions and interactions, keeping the viewer grounded in the multi-layered plot.
The pacing twists and turns through the sisters` quest for answers, maintaining a swift momentum that supports the story’s action while delving into deeper family bonds.
While the dialogue serves its purpose in driving the plot forward, it sometimes leans on exposition, missing opportunities for deeper character exploration amidst the film’s more thrilling moments.
Critics may point out that `What Happened to Monday` occasionally buckles under the weight of its own ambition, with a tendency towards convoluted plot twists and dense narrative that can challenge coherence. Furthermore, while its speculative premise intrigues, it can also tread into familiar dystopian territory without breaking new ground.
As a critic, `What Happened to Monday` compels with its central mystery and the powerful performance of its lead actress. It offers a gripping tale of subterfuge and survival that satisfies a penchant for high-stakes drama and speculative fiction. While not without faults, the film provides a striking consideration of individualism under an oppressive collective rule, leaving viewers to ponder the price of identity in a world of conformity.