You think you have identity issues? These seven sisters have you beat.
If you have a lot of brothers, sisters ...or both, you may sympathize with these women struggling to discover who they are. Seven female, identical siblings, also known as septuplets, are born into a harsh reality. In this near future, overpopulation and famine force the government to take action. The "One Child Policy is established, by the cold and calculating Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), director of the Child Allocation Bureau. It decreed that if families had more than one child, the younger ones would be put into cryogenic sleep. It is written by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson, directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) and co-stars Willem Dafoe as the grandfather that taught his granddaughters how to keep their existence a secret.
Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films) plays all seven sisters, named for each day of the week--Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday--and only allowed outside once a week on week on their name-day. Outside the walls of their home, they take on the single identity of Karen Settman. For 30 years, they maintain this existence, only free to be themselves in the confinement of their apartment, until one of them doesn't come home.
"What Happened to Monday?" is another dystopian future movie that is anything but average. With our planet's resources diminishing and population growing, it is a probable eventuality that regulations would be instituted to protect the survival of the human race. The law actually used to exist in China, but in November 2013, the Chinese government announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Under the new policy, families could have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child.
The premise for this Sci-Fi film sets the stage within the first five minutes, and the suspense and action don't stop the whole way through. The wonderful thing about science fiction is that it puts a situation you may never encounter, but forces you to consider "What would I do?" in that situation. In this alternate reality, it is another justification for those with power to take more as a result of crisis.
The stand out performance by Noomi Rapace, could not have been cast better. She took on seven roles that all interacted with one another. Each character had their own look, style and personality, yet transformed to this pretend person that was an amalgamation of all their talents to bring them collective success and afford to support those seven mouths that should just be one. The sisters all carry the collective 'Karen' identity differently that can sometimes be noticed, but only by the viewer. Full to subtly and deserving of recognition. She embodies these roles with all her heart and displays the extent of her acting abilities and various talents.
Netflix may be putting a lot of programing out now that is substandard, but this film was a good choice. This is not a light movie. It is entertaining, empowering and enlightening to see how a family can develop under constant fear. I am reminded of the Diary of Anne Frank, how they were forced to hide. It is only under duress when one discovers what they are made of. The week that this film depicts puts Karen Settman to the ultimate test. It is fast paced and has an ending not even I could predict. In the end, after the credits role and all the answers given, one question remains. What would you do to protect your family? Only you can answer that.
Dan Victor is editor of Popdust and producer of Popdust Presents. He is also a music producer, bassist for Low Profile (live hip hop) & The Coldpress (indie rap) and front-man for Ductape Halo (indie rock). Follow on Youtube.
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