What Happened to Monday aka 7 Sisters (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">What Happened to Monday</strong> aka <strong class="MovieTitle">7 Sisters</strong> (2017)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2018) I have several issues with modern Science Fiction cinema, but one of the biggest ones is how even savvy filmmakers will use the SF label to completely disregard anything looking like logic or verisimilitude. Add an unexplained global catastrophe between now and the film’s putative date and that seems to be enough to justify the worst world-building atrocities. While particularly pronounced in the Young Adult dystopias, the same tendency can also be found in so-called more serious work with What Happened to Monday being a case in point. Here, the creaky overpopulation bugaboo takes centre stage as the justification of a draconian one-child policy and other assorted dystopian business. Our heroines, predictably, are seven identical sisters kept hidden and educated by their grandfather. When one of them goes missing, it’s not just about finding her, but exposing the incredibly obvious lies of the government. Premise-wise, this is a dud. Where it gets more interesting is in the execution, as all sisters are played by Noomi Rapace in the kind of acting tour-de-force opportunity that actors crave. Each sister is differentiated in looks, personality and abilities even as they are strictly regimented to appear as one in order to fool the authorities. The various plot machinations required to keep the premise running can be ingenious even if the overall situation makes no sense, and that’s probably the film’s saving grace, along with occasional good action sequences from director Tommy Wirkola. What would have been a low-budget disaster becomes a mildly diverting Netflix “original” (aka: not theatrically distributed in North America), with a few intriguing moments and a remarkable lead performance but not something you can really count as good Science Fiction. There’s been worse, but What Happened to Monday could have been much better.

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