‘Monday’ is a drama film directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, from a screenplay he wrote with Rob Hayes. Americans abroad Chloe (Irish actor Denise Gough, better known for her stage work, especially in the National Theatre revival of Angels in America) and Mickey (Sebastian Stan, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier in the Marvel franchise) are the central couples in Argyris Papadimitropoulos' latest feature ‘Monday’. In the opening minutes of the movie, they meet at a party and within seconds they're furiously sucking face. Hours later, they wake up in each other's arms, naked on the beach.
'Monday' barely sets up or develops the relationship before it starts to poke holes in it. The film seems intent to explore the hardships of relationships and how difficult it can be to leave bad ones — be it for fear of loneliness, wanting emotional support, or a plethora of other reasons. However, 'Monday' doesn’t do the work to deepen the relationship of the characters, which ultimately hinders the emotional impact of their unraveling. Papadimitropoulos is heavily focused on the superficiality of Chloe and Mickey’s relationship, haphazardly throwing in meaningful moments without much follow-up. Early on, sex scenes and laughter are meant to convey how much fun the pair have together, but it isn't enough.
Gough, an Irish performer mostly known for her stage work, has the bigger lift. Although Chloe initially seems more put together, one of Mickey’s friends notes that he’s “only happy” when he’s failing and that’s something he and Chloe may have in common. Gough’s performance steadily chips away at Chloe’s facade, and the pair continually put their bond at risk with jealousies, odd twists, straight-up lies, and even legal entanglements. The litany of self-inflicted complications stack up with an exhausting regularity, but Stan and Gough work hard to hold the film — and their couple — together.
‘Monday’ is more taken with idyllic adventures around Athens than with its characters, while also treating its setting as little more than background noise. It’s honestly a strange choice that Papadimitropoulos would choose to focus on American ex-pats living in Greece since they both have very little interaction with the culture of its people, which often takes away from the influence of the city. Mickey is unwilling to learn, appreciate, and communicate with the culture and people around him. This translates to his relationship with Chloe, which makes the film a tedious chore to sit through, its potential lost amid a sea of half-formed ideas and little follow-through.
Final Score – [6.6/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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