Movies With Pete: What Happened to Monday?


With most movie theaters closed and lots of major film production halted, avid-movie watchers have resigned to Google searches like “best movies on Netflix” to find entertainment. One of the critically acclaimed films on this list is What Happened to Monday, a dystopian action drama released in 2017. What Happened to Monday is amusing for all the wrong reasons: it is overdramatic, banal, and poorly-written to a comical extent. 

The movie takes place in a dystopian future (somewhere around 2043) in which mass overpopulation and world hunger force a global government to enact a one-child policy, known as the Child Allocation Act. All children except for oldest siblings are forced into cryosleep (body preservation in ice) until there is enough food to feed more people, and the Child Allocation Bureau (C.A.B.) monitors citizens through mandatory tracking bracelets. Despite intense surveillance, one family slips through the cracks.

Karen Settman dies while giving birth to identical septuplet sisters. Her father, Terrence Settman, decides to hide her children from the C.A.B. and raise them on his own. He names the seven children (all played by Noomi Rapace in adulthood and Clara Read in childhood) after the days of the week, and once the girls are about six, he allows each of them outside of their apartment on the day that corresponds with their name. The girls are all known as Karen Settman outside of the apartment, and they frequently practice drills to hide from the C.A.B. in a closet. 

After this explanatory flashback, the movie transitions to 2073. The sisters, all still living together after Terrence dies, each work as Karen Settmen, a bank employee,  for one day a week. One day, though, Monday disappears. The sisters embark on a search that tips off the CAB, resulting in an apartment invasion. Once the invasion begins, a long and bloody battle ensues. The rest of the movie contains many shootouts, police chases, and great escapes. The plot develops, resulting in deaths, sacrifice, and one scene you might not want your parents to walk in on. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out how this elaborate and confusing plot all comes together.

What Happened to Monday’s convoluted storyline is entertainingly ridiculous. Although sci-fi thrillers aren’t traditionally intended to give viewers fits of laughter, and this film’s absurd and misguided societal commentary and plotlines are downright hilarious. The grey color of all buildings, furniture, and clothing, the long pauses between almost every piece of dialogue, and the ugly futuristic technology are almost impossibly cliche. The characters are so intense, so one-dimensional, and flip so seamlessly from raging to sensual, that watchers quickly develop the ability to predict lines before they happen.

This movie is so incredibly bad that it is somehow good. I watched until the very end because I needed to know how its messy plot would eventually, miraculously, all make sense at the end. What Happened to Monday is unequivocally not worth anybody’s time, but if you choose to drop two hours on it, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: 0.5/5 OR 4/5, depending on how seriously the viewer takes it.