Set in the 2073, the world has become a futuristic North Korea where overpopulation and famine have led to drastic measures with children being exterminated if you have more then one – although the government claim they’re being put into cryosleep until the world’s problems can be resolved.
As head of the alternative CAB, the Child Allocation Bureau, Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), sets out the “One Child Policy”, which is a bit of a problem for their grandfather Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe) who has seven bundles of joy to deal with, so he gives them the names of the days of the week, and allows them out of the house just on that day and using the first name of Karen, since in accordance with the policy, they have to share the same identity bracelet which is scanned wherever they go and, thankfully – even in this dictatorial state – they find a way to share it out. It can also record video, which is handy for showing everyone else when they come back home and can bring them up to speed on how ‘Karen’ is progressing.
The girls are born and then – while occasionally cutting back and forth between the present day and when the girls are starting primary school – the film skips to Sunday, thirty years later. All seven of them are seen at home round the dinner table. Yes, just imagine that for a moment – seven Noomi Rapaces in one room. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of… but away from my fantasy and back to the film, and the problems begin when Monday – while she’s out and about – doesn’t come home…
As Tuesday heads out to work the next day, it started off as a detective thriller of the like I’ve never seen before – which is quite a rarity, these days – well, as long as you discount those movies where someone has drunk so much they’ve blacked out and have had to piece together the day they’re ‘missing’…a bit like those aforementioned nights out in town.
They all have different hairstyles to identify them round the dinner table, which made me think – How come no-one’s been spotting the different hairstyles while they’re out in the open? Or are they like how Clark Kent looks identical to Superman, yet no-one spots him? Or, maybe… I’m over-thinking this. Well, that is addressed, as you’ll find, as is the bracelet issue.
Now for some random observations from the film:
- This film shows Noomi doing what she does best – fighting and punching and kicking serious bottom. For the most part, it’s also more engaging than her other 2017 actioner, Unlocked, which was good fun at times but lacking on the whole.
- It has some dry humour that’s lacking in a number of action movies, these days. Quite often it also has Freejack-style levels of super-daft sillyness, albeit no campy villain idiot like Mick Jagger, and Glenn Close’s make-up is way OTT and she can’t match Anthony Hopkins as a head honcho baddie.
- I was beside myself big-time at a moment 23 minutes in, after one of them takes an unscheduled trip outside…
- Given how Terrence is such a protective man with a vast underground lab/lair/hideaway, how come he lives on one hell of a busy street! Venture outside and there’s a zillion people there!
- I tried to think of other films where one actor played more than two multiple parts and all I could think of was Michael Keaton in Multiplicity where he portrayed several clones of himself. However, not all of those had any sort of stand-out role and so just mooched around in the background for the majority of the time, so with 7 from Ms Rapace, with sven individual personalities all arguing with each other, I think she’s topped the lot!
- The third act gets a bit silly and predictable, letting the side down, and any originality gives way to the sort of conclusion build-up you’ve seen in many movies previously, which is a shame given the strength of the first 85 minutes or so.
- The film is known in the US as the rather lame ‘Seven Sisters‘, which makes it sound like a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical(!) It’s also like naming a Bond film “Man in smart suit kills some baddies”.
- They miss a trick by not featuring the David Bowie track, Girl Loves Me , as it regularly features the line, “Where the fuck did Monday go?”
- As for which of the seven is my favourite, it’s a tough choice between workout queen Wednesday, and nerdy Friday.
I’ll conclude with the observation that while Netflix doesn’t have to get films or TV series rated by the BBFC, unless they’re putting them out on Blu-ray and/or DVD, I’d expect this film to get a 15-certificate, although there are some gory moments which might just tip it over to an 18-cert. Then again, as it’s a sci-fi movie where this sort of thing is unlikely to happen in real life (for now, anyway), they’d probably allow a 15-cert uncut.
What Happened To Monday launches on Netflix this Friday, August 18th, and available to view for all seven days of every week. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but click on the poster for the full-size version.
Running time: 123 minutes
Format: 2.35:1 (EclairColor)
Released: August 18th 2017
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Producers: Raffaella De Laurentiis and Fabrice Gianfermi
Screenplay: Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson
Music: Christian Wibe
Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday: Noomi Rapace
Adrian Knowles: Marwan Kenzari
Terrence Settman: Willem Dafoe
Nicolette Cayman: Glenn Close
Young Karen Settman: Clara Read
Jerry: Pål Sverre Hagen
Girl: Lara Decaro
Eddie: Tomiwa Edun
Father Beck: Jeppe Beck Laursen
Joe: Christian Rubeck
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.