Possible spoilers ahead!
In a not too distant future where overpopulation is out of control, families are limited by law to one child. Any families with more than one child are forced to give them up so they can go into cryogenic sleep. Those left in the world live what is basically martial law, all thanks to the ruthless Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), the creator of the one child policy.
But Terence Settman (Willem Dafoe), faces a dilemma when he becomes the guardian to his seven granddaughters. Thee seven sisters (all played by Noomi Rapace) are identical, except for their names. Settman decided to name each girl after the days of the week, starting with Monday, the first-born.
These names eventually become indicators, as each sister is allowed to leave their home on “her” day. In order to move around the city, Settman has the sisters pose as a single individual named Karen Settman. To further safeguard their secret, he ensures they share information on a daily basis and replicates anything that affects one of the sisters’ physical appearance.
The situation is not ideal for the sisters, who grow up wanting lives of their own on their outside. But things change forever the night Monday fails to return home.
A lot of people are probably going to compare “What Happened to Monday” to the tv series “Orphan Black,” but they really shouldn’t. While there are some obvious similarities between the two, “What Happened to Monday” has some very original ideas too. I for one enjoyed the idea of this story being a contained family saga of seven similar, yet different women trapped in their own home.
Not only do we see them as adults, but we also see how this scenario affected them as children. We see it all, everything from their daily routine to the escape drills they would often practice. The girls shared good times of course, but there were also some dark moments.
One in particularly when one of the girls sneaks out to play one day was rather shocking. One more thing, despite of what the ad campaign shows, this movie is more of a drama than an action movie. However, when an action sequence dies pop up, they were all excecuted rather well.
But what really sets “What Happened to Monday” apart is the performances by Noomi Rapace. She gives each sister a distinct personality and look. And she plays each woman with manic energy and layers of emotion. If you’ve ever wondered if Noomi Rapace has range, this movie is your answer.
Sadly, that’s where the good stuff ends. Despite Noomi Rapace’s killer acting, the second half of “What Happened to Monday” becomes cliché after cliché, and there are some major story problems. For instance, Willem Dafoe’s character disappears. I can guess what happened to him, but he’s not even mentioned again which was just odd.
Then there’s Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), who by the third act becomes a villain of the week type. The character won’t do anything herself, instead she has her underlings do her dirty work. Even Close’s acting couldn’t save the character, and when the faints in front of an audience, everyone person watching the movie laughed.
Despite several second half flaws, I still think “What Happened to Monday” is worth checking out. The movie has a cool concept, some solid action, and Noomi Rapace’s acting alone is worth the price of admission.
“What Happened to Monday” final score: B-