Where do you see yourself in 20 years? 50 years? Is it married with five children and working a small corner cube? Is it traveling all depths of the earth without any responsibilities? Is it landing your dream job and pursuing your perfect career? Now, where do you see our planet in 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? Can you even imagine what it will look like? I can’t. In What Happened to Monday? director Tommy Wirkola gives us some insight about what the world could be if we waste all our resources.
The year is 2073 and the government is addressing a worldwide crisis in a shortage of food, water, and fossil fuels due to overpopulation. Their solution, is to limit every family to a one child policy called the Child Allocation Act. They live in a Utopian like society and in a case that a mother has more than one child, all but the oldest children are taken and put into a cryosleep where they are put into a “deep coma” until the population is reduced. In a particularly rare case, identical septuplets have been able to hide from the government for over thirty years. They accomplished this by all going out in public under the same identity, Karen Settman. When the septuplets were born their mother died from childbirth, which left their grandfather Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe) to take care of them. Naturally, considering that he now has seven granddaughters, he named them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all played by Noomi Rapace. Each of the girls were allowed to go outside one day of the week(the day they were named), they would record significant events that happened and then come home and tell their sisters about their day. This was their life for 30 years until one day Monday did not come home. In fear of being reported Tuesday went and investigated the situation and before she could go home she was picked up by the C.A.B. and taken by the government. The rest of the septuplets try to get their sisters back without also being taken or killed.
Tommy Wirkola is relatively new to the film industry. He directed his first film Remake, in 2006. Since then he also directed the films: Kill Buljo, Dead Snow, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead. All are very creative films they express some sort of artistic medium. Some are comedic, some are dark and twisty, and some make you think more about human existence. What Happened to Monday? reminds me of Divergent in a way of how the septuplets rebel against the “Utopian” like government and try to pave their own path to accept their differences.
In the film What Happened to Monday? a different type of artistic medium is presented. Actor, Noomi Rapace performance was nothing less than phenomenal. The idea that she is playing all of the seven sisters and each sister was actually able to share their own side of their story is impressive. In public they were all one person, but behind closed doors they each had unique and distinctive traits that set them apart from each other. Acting by yourself can not be easy for anyone yet Noomi Rapace did it seven different times. Wirkola did not try to show off the seven different roles that Rapace played, he didn’t want that to be the main thing that viewers focused on. He truly portrayed the movie to be seven different people with seven different personalities. Yes, he did have stand ins with Rapace so it was less work for her, and he also used many other special effects that made the movie more believable. What sets apart this movie from other science fiction movies is that this film goes beyond the special effects. The technology is normalized while still utilizing them at all times( this way the viewers can be easily immersed into the movie). The technology that was used truly was not that different compared to what we have now, the main difference in the film was that the screens were transparent, but they still have the same technological things that we do. Instead of using phones they had watches that you could record stuff on and contact anyone with. Otherwise it was just designed to make the future look like we have actually accomplished more to show some “hope and promise”.
I believe that Wirkola took on this movie to establish a statement about how we are treating our planet. He opens up the audience’s eyes by saying this could be us in 50 years. There is a possibility that we will run out of food and water. There is a possibility that we will destroy our world by overpopulating land and shoving as many people as we can in small areas. New York City, for example, it is the most populated city in the United States. New York City alone, has a larger population than 40 of the 50 U.S. states. It is extremely overpopulated and in What Happened to Monday? we can assume that this is what the whole world looked like. In a way it also resembles how China has addressed their overpopulation situation. In China, they had a one child policy, but if you did happen to have another child you had to pay a hefty fine or go to jail, and the more children you have the more the fine increases. Wirkola, throughout the film, simply establishes the message that we are already heading towards overcrowding and overpopulation.
Once again I was impressed and thoroughly intrigued with another science fiction movie. This is another movie for viewers who would not typically choose scientific fiction as their genre of choice. It was jaw dropping and left the audience in a constant state of surprise. It can be best described as unpredictable and eye opening. Sort of like a warning to everyone of what our future holds.