Ordinarily, the question is ‘what happened to the weekend?’, right after spending a hefty amount of time and money getting plastered and celebrating the demise of yet another week. Not in this case though.
What Happened To Monday tells the story of Karen Settman (Noomi Rapace), a 30-year-old seemingly normal lady who just so happens to have seven identical sisters in a world where it is illegal to have siblings. Why you ask? Because in this world, climate change is so severe, the only viable solution was to implement the Child Allocation Act – one child per marriage union after undergoing serious scrutiny to determine if you can actually support the one child. Raised by their, frankly brave and bonkers, grandfather Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe) after the septuplets mother, unfortunately, died in childbirth, he hatches a plan to shield them from the government.
Of course, such an utterly ridiculous setup leaves one with so many questions. How epic were the TV remote fights? What happened when they all ate bad sushi? What happened if they fell and got hurt? (well this last one has a nasty answer). Still, the movie unfolds slowly to reveal a tight ship run by grandpa to ensure his girls can live in this cruel and harsh world. Trouble begins when Monday (they are all named after days of the week – creative and rather convenient at the same time) bumps into the office sleazeball who implies he knows her secret and will reveal it. That night, Monday disappears and it’s up to the rest of the girls to figure out where their sister went to.
As with a film like this (Orphan Black meets Children of Men?), the onus is on the lead to deliver and that Rapace did in spades. See, each of septuplets ought to have a distinct personality to at least have some believability. One’s a geek, one’s a workaholic, one’s a party fiend, another’s a fitness freak and so on. Tracking who’s who was a challenge and does become a bit of an issue at one point. Despite this, Rapace manages to bring each character alive even with their vastly different traits. This also underpins just the sheer effort it took to film it. Even with green screen technology, it’s not an easy job planning out dialogue and scenes for such. Yet it is unnervingly seamless as to how the characters interact, you end up forgetting that they are all one person acting out different parts.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much space left to build side supporting characters. Grandpa doesn’t get much screen time as well as the big baddie, Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close). Her motives aren’t all that world shattering and what would be more intriguing would be a backstory to better explain her actions. Nicolette’s henchmen are also your run of the mill shoot now ask questions later kinda crew with dimensions precisely equal to 1.
Though they do deliver decent action scenes, which weirdly escalate in both complexity and ghastliness, their methods to clamp down on the septuplet situation in the story don’t exactly make sense even with exposition given. Which is the biggest issue with this Netflix flick – it just doesn’t live up to its immense potential. Inevitably, there are enough plot holes left over by the time you finish to sew together a medium-sized fishing net. There’s just so much you could do with such a premise and only 20% was utilized. This actually has *franchise* potential (I know, I gagged saying the F word) but sadly wasn’t truly realized.
In conclusion, What Happened To Monday? serves well as a random Netflix offering that ticks the action, sci-fi and Rapace boxes but not much else. Best enjoyed on a lazy Saturday night served with sweatpants (optional drawers), a couch and sinfully tasty fast food. Besides, You’ll soon be asking yourself What Happened To The Weekend?
Watch the trailer here.