Tes habilités de critique... C'est de la vraie merde ce qui est écrit ici.

What Happened To Monday Movie Explanation
What happened to Monday movie is a clever commentary on the political world that is devolving all around us. It comments on our weakest most base impulses and asks really good questions. IMDB
Special Effects
4.6Overall Score
Reader Rating: (57 Votes)

THinc. is a site for crazy complicated, hard to understand movies. I thrive on movies that don’t button up all nice and neat – which is anathema to Hollywood. But occasionally, you find an intrepid movie developer and they just let fly. Movies like Primer, Inception, The One I Love, If There’s a Hell Below, The Signal, Time Lapse, Predestination, The Arrival, I could just keep going and going. I literally get email from people who have just discovered my site asking for a fullon list weekly. But I get it. It’s so normal to allow Hollywood to talk down to the viewer that it’s really rare to see a director with the intestinal fortitude necessary to make a complicated movie these days.

Well if you are jonesing for a new complicated movie fix – dude, I’ve totally got a great recommendation for you. It’s rare treat that we get really complicated, and really interesting movie to debate and discuss… so we really have to savor them when they come. And while What Happened to Monday isn’t perfect (Nope. It has many many flaws.), it is a highly worthwhile mind-trip of a movie. I really had a blast the deeper down this rabbit hole I fell.

What Happened to Monday World Building

For those of you that haven’t seen it? Let me give you a quick primer… Ok, so basically the world population causes global problems, which leads to genetically modified food explosion to meet population demands. That in turn leads to an explosion in twins and multiple births. Which then leads to an exacerbation of the initial problem. Dr. Caymen (Glenn Close) as the head of the Child Allocation Bureau initiates the “One Child – One Earth”, Child Allocation Actintended to decrease global overpopulation. All siblings are then forced into bureau remanded cryo-sleep.

In this world, a woman, Karen Setman, gets pregnant, father unknown, and bears seven children. Karen dies in child birth and the children’s grandfather (Willem Dafoe), Terrence Settman vows to raise the seven sisters hidden from the oppressive regime. And to do so he names each one a day of the week and determines they can only go out on their name-sake day of the week.

So, for most of you that haven’t seen this yet, you really need to leave now. You see, I don’t do movie reviews. My movie review for What Happened to Monday is this – GO SEE IT. Ok? There, you have your movie review. But this is where the fun begins for me. I would MUCH RATHER talk to those of you who have already seen it than give you some general, opaque critique of the movie. So yeah, this is where a TON of here be dragons warnings have to be dropped in. Because spoilers abound.

— HERE BE DRAGONS — Spoilers Alert —

Who are the Days of the Week?

Currently scrubbing back through the movie to try and ascertain the personality types of each of the days of the week. It’s a tricky thing to pull off, but I think I’m getting close now.

Monday – long haired leader, that went missing
Tuesday – red headed compassionate drug user
Wednesday – health nut and anti-NGO fanatic?
Thursday – short haired skateboarder that thrashed her finger and longs for freedom
Friday – skull cap wearing, smart number cruncher
Saturday – blonde hair partier and cut up
Sunday – the believer and the idealist

Karen Settman is their collective identity that they all take on together, disavowing their particular unique attributes.

Story of What Happened to Monday

The story is simple enough, Monday vanishes, and the other six women need to figure out what happened to her before the authorities do. Otherwise their cover, Karen Settman, will be blown and they won’t be able to ever go out again. One of the interesting things about the story is that the story is told over the course of a week which allows each of the sisters a chance to go out and increment their search and learn more as the week progresses. And if you were a little confused with who did what, or when each sister died… or who it was that was dying I’ve detailed out the events below:

Monday: Monday meets Jerry in the elevator and he tells her that he is onto her. Monday heads up and apparently gives her presentation, but doesn’t return home Monday night.

Sisters left: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Tuesday: Monday left early to celebrate apparently. So did she get the promotion that they were all hoping for? She apparently went to her favorite bar, Harry’s. And when she gets there she learns that Harry and Monday argued. And all the sisters determine that Jerry is on to them. And when Tuesday goes to confront Harry, she is nabbed by the CAB and introduced to Caymen. Guards from CAB come to the apartment, using Tuesday’s eyeball to get in. Enormously fantastic fight with the guards, with each woman’s personality showing through in their fighting style. But in the end Sunday dies.

Sisters left:  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Wednesday: When Wednesday arrives at Jerry’s apartment she is met with, “Hello Karen, you are cutting it close aren’t you.” Which is all kinds of confusing right about now. Basically Jerry wants Karen to pass on the promotion or else he is going to let others know about “her little secret”. But it wasn’t the sisters, it was the 407c transfer contract. Apparently Monday set up a contract with Dr. Cayman.

After some fingerprint cleverness Wednesday gets out of Jerry’s apartment after linking the contract over to her sisters. Then, flip back at the apartment where the CAB guard at the checkpoint knocks on the door. Apparently Monday and he had hooked up before. But this doesn’t dawn on them. So Thursday tells Saturday to go with him to his place and find out which one of them he has been seeing. And back to Wednesday, she gets help from Friday and then makes a leap across from one roof to the other, only to be shot by Joe, the CAB agent assisting Cayman. “Why would Karen Settmen illegally transfer millions of dollars into Dr. Cayman’s campaign fund?” Meanwhile, Saturday successfully links her band with the agent’s.

Sisters left: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Thursday: Using the linked band from Saturday, Friday and Thursday access the video feed of the processing center and find Monday in cell C34. When we cut back to Saturday, she learns that Monday had been in a relationship with Adrian Knowles (the CAB agent) for a while. But the biggest news is that Cayman is making a run for parliament.

Saturday is killed in Knowles’ apartment while talking with Friday and Thursday on the video feed in spectacular fashion. Then the CAB agents attack the apartment with tear gas, but Friday tricks Thursday and stays behind in order to transfer the family photos. (Um?) “I synched everything, go and get Monday. Show Cayman who Karen Settmen really is.” And then she blew it all up.

Thursday went and found Adrian thinking that he had sold them all out. It was immediately after he saw Friday dead and told him Karen wasn’t dead. So Adrian takes Thursday to the Child Allocation Bureau in a body bag, acting as if she was one of the sisters who had previously died. There, Thursday witnesses a girl getting put to “cryo-sleep” but she is actually incinerated. But when they get to Monday’s cell, they find Tuesday instead, sans an eyeball.

Cut to – Cayman hosting Karen (Monday) in her apartments in order to finalize the money transfer. Cayman tells Monday that she has one of her siblings still alive as collateral. It appears that Monday is negotiating to be the only Karen, and has paid Caymen from her bank in order to get that right. Which also means her siblings have died for a reason.

Soon Monday and Thursday meet at the Cayman fundraiser in the bathroom. (I ask you this in all seriousness, when, has a woman’s rest room EVER been empty during a gala or event. Sorry, but it just doesn’t happen. Ok, ok… back to it.) Monday pulls out the gun that had gone missing from the safe earlier in the movie. Quick Recap: “Sunday died in my arms, Wednesday fell to her death, Saturday shot in the head, and Friday…”

Sister battle of the century ensues and all I could think about was, when are they using doubles, wire removal and when were they using WETA. But Thursday survives and heads out to the gala, where Tuesday plays the video of the child getting cryo-sleeped. But then out comes Monday in her best Hans Gruber Die Hard glory! But is shot by Joe. And then Joe is shot by Adrian. I need a freaking score card at this point. But the big twist? It appears that Monday was pregnant. “Promise me, you won’t them take them.” And she was most likely pregnant with twins.

Sisters left: Tuesday (Terry), and Thursday (Karen)

The Open Questions with What Happened to Monday

My first big problem with this movie is that if their father can create bands for all of the girls, why couldn’t he have created bands that declared them all single child children? Is it that he is just duplicating the data and he can’t forge the data? Regardless, it takes a pretty significant logical leap and suspension of reality in order to swallow that particular assumption.

Problem two? If you wandered around town digging into what you – you yourself – did the day before they’d lock you away. And yet, over and over again the sisters continually ask about themselves with unbelievable impunity. Excuse me sir, I was here yesterday, did you see me here? Ok, cool. Um. What was I doing? Remind me. Oh THAT’S RIGHT! I totally forgot. Eh? hahahah.

Also, why did they take the dead sisters to the “cryo-chambers”? When they are dead, why not just dispose of the body? I guess I just answered my own question. Right? The incenerators were basically just quick and easy disposal units I guess? Anybody have a better thought on that?

I will say this, that one of the more clever details around this setup is that it mirrors the movie The Prestige in a number of ways. The biggest of which is that they all lead one collective life. And anything that happens to one happens to them all. And like the Prestige, Thursday hurts her hand skateboarding and it forces their grandfather to hurt the other six girl’s hands as well. And that this is the setup for what REALLY happened to Monday.

What Happened To Monday Movie Explanation

So what is with that title? It could just be the most clever aspect of the movie. Because, when you first read the title you realize, ah, they are all named days of the week. Clever. And MONDAY IS MISSING! What happened to her? Where is she?

But nope. That isn’t what the title means.

What happened to Monday is actually the literal question – what the heck happened to her that made her do what she did? As the movie unfolds and morphs it goes from a hunt for Monday to a realization that all the sisters need to survive her as she attempts to take over Karen’s life. But what made her do that?

Well, the real answer to this question isn’t a what, but a who. The answer to this question is, “Terrence Settman”. The girls’ grandfather is the one that oppressively taught them to hid and to live as a single life. Terrence Settman is the one that hacked off one of each of their fingers when Thursday screwed up skateboarding.

Final Thoughts on What Happened to Monday

This story is infinitely relevant to our current political chaos. If you are from the future, and you are, because you are reading this after I wrote it, I might need to remind you of the hell we are currently living through. Trump is in office. KKK and White Supremacists are marching. All of this harkens back to the Third Reich and the Nazi regimes desire to eradicate the undesirables of the country. Jews. Gypsies. They were all targeted in the “Final Solution”. The Child Allocation Bureau is just a post-post-modern spin on this old Eugenics program from the 40s.

It is when we find out that the children were actually put in incinerators, not cryo-chambers, this fact drives the metaphor all the way home.  Similar programs to the CAB are literally happening in many parts of the world today. China, and many parts of Asia. Babies are left out in the rain to die in many parts of the world where this happens. Heck, even when it isn’t mandated by the state, poverty is a natural restrictor for many families. I could tell a million stories I have heard first hand. But I’ll pass this time.

As the movie wraps we see Tuesday and Thursday conferring, and looking in on the twins that had been saved from Monday.  And it was these twins that started her on this journey, searching for normalcy in a highly abnormal world. And somehow this is enough for Tuesday and Thursday to forgive Monday for her actions. Which, in my opinion is the hardest thing for me to swallow. Five of the sisters are now dead and just like that they are ok with Monday’s actions?

I will say this, that the six sisters were successful in bringing down this oppressive regime founded by the Child Allocation Bureau. They stopped Dr. Caymen and her plan to force potential parents from having to get a license to have a child. Which, is just a hop, skip and a jump away from a full blown eugenics program. So there is that.

Bottom line, this is an extraordinarily relevant piece of film that Netflix has pulled together. It hits all the touchy hot topics of the day. And it does it in a very intriguing and very interesting way. I adore this little film. Was it perfect? NO! Oh my gosh. But it was good enough to make you think. Good enough to really push back against some of the important topics happening in the public forum right now. What were your thoughts on the film?

Related Posts

20 Responses

  1. Zach

    I think you missed the point in seeing this as a political jab at Trump or an anti nazi/kkk message. A better comparison would be to abortion and not eugenics but I don’t think either is the point. At the end it clearly shows that world is now doomed to overpopulation and will be the death of humanity. It’s a really gut wrenching movie that’s supposed to make you feel conflicted. On one hand the main characters save countless babies and defeat an immoral character but at the cost of destroying the world. It’s a battle of morality vs survival.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Don’t remember what I wrote… so my apologies if I’ve correlated it too tightly to the events of today. But like Handmaid’s Tale before it… both tell us stories of what is to come if we follow the path we are currently on. Sure, maybe we are 3% there, but even so.

      Yes, then ending definitely is gut wrenching. That is very well said.

      • Joseph Cordell

        I like how the “hardest pill for you too swallow” was the whole twist of the movie. Of course they forgave Monday she thought that in betraying her sisters they would just be frozen not killed and in exchange for a real life for her and her twins, Thursday was saying herself that they thought about just turning them selves in because life was so hard. I also think that the ending can be taken positively, humans are never just doomed, only when the whole planet believes it, that is why the head women kept on repeating it so that she could keep everyone under control. I think the ending real means that when you look forward to a bright future where every one is saved and you have more people/babies to make that goal a reality it is much easier to accomplish that then just giving up and say “we are over populated there is nothing we can do about it, global warming is going to kill us all” that is what the movie is trying to warn us about. That humans are stronger together in greater numbers and that when we let fear separate us it can only lead to death and despair.

  2. Tony

    My theory on your problem 1, the bracelets were linked to the bureau’s servers and unless he had inside technology it would be impossible to forge an identity like that seeing how when the bracelet is scanned it shows all of your info including your picture. In order to “forge” an identity, you’d have to take over one that already exists, and that’s hardly intelligent if the bracelets allow info such as law breaking(that of course they wouldn’t have committed). Point being it would be virtually impossible to forge or take someone else’s identity with that kind of technology.

    • Airy X

      Instead, he was escorting the girls.
      Dad: Him
      Daughter: Karen

      If there were separate identities, who would be listed as the parents? A child without parents would be taken before the rest.

  3. Donna

    So I want to know what happened to Terrence the grandfather. He was never heard from again and no reference as to what happened to him.

    • Airy X

      He was their grandfather and they were in their 30s by the end. Let’s say their mom was 30, and Terry was 30 when he had her, he would be about 60 years older than them. He looked over 60. 60 + 30 is 90. Probably died naturally

  4. lilly

    this was a good movie… i feel as tho this is a warning as well the government is already trying to take over (with there New World Order illuminati ) there trying to take our guns away put us in these camps to make us there slaves they wanna put these chips in us to watch our every move there tryin to kill us depopulate… iwont be surprised if this happen in the future either there giving us signs WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!! DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

  5. Kristina

    Thank you for this, Taylor! I was left in a fog of WTF at the end. I got that Monday was pregnant, but when the scene switches to two babies suspended in tubes, I had a hard time connecting that with whose kids they were or what the connection with Cayman was. I hate having a headache at the end of a movie, although I enjoyed the rest of the plot.

    True, this film brings up a lot of dystopian issues at a time when we seem to be careening in that direction. In the end, overpopulation may not be the ultimate issue. With climate change threatening our ability to grow food, changing the availability of fresh water, with agribusiness weakening the diversity of plants that keep a biological balance so that one virus/bacteria can’t entirely wipe out wheat production, any or all of these things could coalesce into a perfect storm that will decimate this planet we live on. And unlike Interstellar, we may not have the technology to escape and go colonize some habitable planet or moon.

    On that happy note, I’m going to continue concentrating on something more immediate and positive, like teaching grammar to students. Then again, if we don’t also start teaching critical thinking skills to young students, THAT opens the door to authoritarian control, blindly going along with political policies and rhetoric because you’ve lost the ability to question them and to hold their creators/enforcers accountable. THAT is what we’re seeing unfolding right now. And (Lilly, pay attention) there are many bad policies of theirs they’re instituting that are rolling back environmental protections, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, the guarantee of health care. Coming for our guns isn’t one of them. Heaven help us all.

  6. Belle

    Ok so I’m not sure if like I missed this in the movie but did they not use Tuesday’s eye to get in the door, like they ripped it out of her socket. But then, when they are looking at the fetuses in the cyinder thing she has both of her eyes?

    • Kyle

      Watch that scene again , and as its on her face you will see some kind of lens like its an artificial eye

    • katie

      the guy clearly says to her that he likes her “new eye”. as she got a new one put in as this is obviously months later because their sisters babies are almost full term in the tank and she was not even showing in the least when she dies. rewatch the last seen and you will understand the eye part.

    • Tee

      It was referenced. The guy said, “I like your new eye,” or something like that, insinuating that she had a procedure. Maybe it’s one of Monday’s eyes

    • Imanol Gonzalez

      She got it replaced. They talk about it with Monday’s boyfriend in that scene.

  7. Cathleen

    I agree with you. It wasn’t perfect but I adore Noomi and her “look”, her accent and her acting. I also liked that so many of them got killed. I know that sounds weird, but I wasn’t expecting that–and it fits with the dystopian aspect. I’ve just come off watching Black Mirror’s
    Metalhead, and phew, two dystopians in a week. I also liked the ending because it shows that now, without the eugenics program, there are thousands of babies in that room. Cayman doesn’t deny her method. But what made her do it is the point. Who gets to have the kids? Like she was saying in her campaign speech, maybe through wealth-show, some people could have more babies. Like you are saying through world-poverty “culls” of babies, and disease–this is happening now in our world. It’s even happening in the middle classes as they struggle to pay student loans and only have one child when they are 35-40s. It’s a terrifying story…but really…not quite a story.
    Also I adored the scene where Wednesday is running for her life through an obvious slum area and people just automatically throw things at the cops and dump fire. Warms my heart.

  8. David

    I have this question that cant get off my mind after watching this movie. Tuesday lost an eyeball but in if you watch the very last scene where Tuesday and Thursday watching two babies, Tuesday somehow has both eyes. The tech is so enhanced that her eye was could be placed back..?

  9. RFHokie

    Do you think there was any symbolism in the movie related to the nursery rhyme about Monday’s child? Seems like there is. Curious why the writer chose Thursday and Tuesday to survive and all others to die. I get Thursday, since it was her accident that precipitated all girls losing a finger, but why did Tuesday survive?

  10. Jess

    While I did enjoy this movie and found it thought-provoking, I sincerely wish the finer points of Monday’s deal with Cayman were elaborated on concretely/aloud.
    Did she initially offer Cayman the money in exchange to bear and keep both of her children? Or was the main point to become the only Karen via killing her sisters so as to live her life with Adrian, the children being secondarily important?
    The jist was certainly implied but I was hoping for a penultimate cliche “bad guy unravels the mystery” (or “good guy retrospects on bad guy in detail”) speech.

  11. Lisa

    I was fascinated by the dynamic between Thursday and Monday. During their childhood Thursday is the one who breaks their grandfather’s rule of not going out on the same day as one of her sisters. When she loses her fingertip, Monday is the one whom their grandfather asks to set an example for the rest of their sisters at the cost of her own physical well-being. Even in their adulthood Thursday continues to be the rebellious sister who openly voices her malcontent with their way of life while Monday continues to fulfill the role of the responsible, dutiful eldest sister which their grandfather wanted her to play for her younger sisters. Yet when Monday disappears, an intriguing reversal takes place. It is Thursday who steps into Monday’s shoes to guide their sisters through the following crisis, revealing leadership qualities that we wouldn’t expect to find in her while it turns out that, in the end, it is Monday herself who no longer accepts their way of life and who rebels against it at the terrible cost of the lives of her very own sisters.

    For me, strangely enough, it is Sunday who voices what this movie is truly about. When she is dying, she candidly admits that she has lost her faith and that she does not know who she is. For me, her words raised the following question to mind while I watched the rest of the movie: Does any of the seven sisters truly know who she is?

    Another example of this lack of genuine identity is presented by Saturday. She spent her entire life boasting about her sexual experiences to her sisters, only for Thursday and Friday to discover that she is still a virgin in reality when Adrian comes knocking on their door. Yet, despite her lack of sexual experience, she still manages to keep her wits about her when she links her bracelet to that of Adrian. We also see the same levelheadedness in her again when she is discovered by CAB agents. She doesn’t scream her head off like she did during her first fight scene (when she swung around an iron). Instead she stays calm while she swivels around her chair and focuses on what’s most important to her in that dreadful moment. The fact that she dies before she can finish telling her sisters that she loves them doesn’t diminish her strength of character in that particular scene. On the contrary, it enhances it.

    Most of the seven sisters hadn’t discovered yet what they were truly capable of until external circumstances forced them to break with their lifelong routine. Even though their grandfather did his best to encourage them to be themselves when they were at home, the simple fact that they were septuplets made it quite difficult for them to discover who they were as individuals. Instead they took on roles to differentiate themselves from each other. Yet for most of them these roles did not reflect their true identity as an individual person. Even Wednesday who is clearly a tough fighter, still lacked self-confidence in her own physical abilities which is why Thursday needed to remind her that she had been training all of her life.

    Despite this, it seems Friday had the most developed sense of a genuine individual identity. She knew who she truly was, what she was truly capable of, and especially what was truly most important to her in her life so she was able to act accordingly. People can’t truly know what’s most important to them if they don’t know who they truly are. Initially Thursday thinks that she wants to be free to be her own person and to lead her own life, yet in the end she is the one who adopts the identity of Karen Settman, which can be considered a tribute to her mother but probably even more to all of her sisters and to the life that she led with them. Furthermore, she is the one who pointed out to Monday that all of them together were Karen Settman. And while Monday herself initially played to role of leading her sisters, she eventually realized and decided that she wanted to have her own life with Adrian and their twins. Her claim to have the right to assume the identity of Karen Settman just because she is the eldest daughter is a rationalization on her part to which she resorted in order to overcome her true emotional attachment to her younger sisters. Needless to say her personal situation was also exceedingly difficult. As an expecting mother, she would do anything to protect her unborn children. In her mind, she was protecting her own family, even if it meant sacrificing the family that she had with her sisters.

    Finally, in Tuesday we also sense her lack of identity when it’s her turn to go outside after Monday has disappeared. While at first she doesn’t seem to have any inner sense of direction, she still manages to handle herself in the most uncertain and difficult situations when they present itself. She also possesses enough self-discipline not to betray her sisters. When Cayman confronts her with the existence of her sisters, Tuesday doesn’t resort to sacrificing them just to save herself which tells us much about who she truly is as a person.

    While the movie hints at many controversial topics like climate change, overpopulation and oppressive political regimes, it’s really about how these seven sisters manage to lead their lives under such difficult circumstances and how they discover who they truly are aside from the roles that society expects them to play or even the roles that they chose to adopt for themselves.

  12. Andy

    Answer to dead sisters to cryochamber is that they had to get rid of the evidence if their existence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.