Photo: ‘Monday’/IFC Films
Directed and written by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, ‘Monday’ follows two Americans, Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), living in Athens who find themselves entangled together in an unforgettable weekend of adventures. Mickey is your stereotypical boyish, shaggy brown hair, puppy-eyed charmer living his life with one foot in front of the other. On the other hand, Chloe is an immigration lawyer who’s a straight arrow that drinks too much but isn’t as carefree as the free-spirited Mickey.
She has problems after having been in an abusive relationship and treats life’s moments as just events in one’s life that come and goes. The days of the week appear on film, making a chapter out of their small relationship that starts on a “Friday,” and when the word “Monday” appears well, the genuine feeling you get for the Monday blues comes barreling down on the pair.
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At a disco house party, Chloe is portrayed by Denise Gough, an American tourist who meets Mickey portrayed by Sebastian Stan, an American who is DJ-ing said party. After a wild night, the pair wake up at the beach butt-naked and have little memory of recent events. Not the most unique event to occur in cinema history but a lead nonetheless for future events. Even after, Mickey makes himself known that he is not like the stereotypical date and dash male persona as he remains quite passionate towards Chloe.
While unfortunately naked on a beach, the police bring them to the station, where the two reveal their names for the first time while in handcuffs. Chloe is about to head back to the USA, so Mickey takes her home on his motorcycle, and she is just about to disappear with a calm, “Thank you for not being an asshole,” however, rom-com storytelling has other plans. With Chloe near the security line at the airport, Mickey persuades Chloe to spend a few days with him in Greece filled with unknown adventures of partying, dancing, sex, and a lot more sex.
Disco, Sweaty Bodies, and Red Flags = Everything You Need To Know About ‘Monday’
For seven years, Mickey has been living in Greece as a DJ alongside his friend Argyris portrayed by Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, the insanely rich party animal. No, not the director Argyris, but I would expect there might be a hidden meaning as to why the director has a character with his name. While I could go through the events within the film, I can simplify by telling you that the film is rated R for sexual content and a lot of it. So, I’ll leave you to view specific events for yourself.
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When Chloe gets Mickey to pack a van with her modernist sofa, it’s a sign of commitment when she looks at him and sets fire to it while throwing another disco party outside his apartment. The foundation of the film comes from how the spirituality of free-spirit nature crashes down after the pair become closer after their fling of a relationship. Argyris Papadimitropoulos begins to flood ‘Monday’ with red flags after red flags as Mickey’s true internal nature takes a step into the light.
When Mickey’s kind, free-spirit nature cover is thrown to the side, his inner nature reveals itself with his flakiness, short temper, and egotism. For starters, Mickey claims to have a friendship with his six-year-old son, but in fact, he hardly ever sees the little dude. Or the scene when Mickey’s former bandmate Bastian, stops by for a visit and derails his joy. As soon as the band found success, Mickey quit, but why? “You fuckin’ hate yourself,” Bastian explains. All of these flags are being thrown into Chloe’s face, and it is sure to create chaos within her mind knowing she is living with someone she does not entirely know or understand. For some strange and frustrating reason, all terrible realizations do not stop Chloe from going along with it all.
When Chloe’s breaking point finally comes, and she realizes that she has been going along with everything, it makes you, the audience, want to yell along with her like yeah, we’ve been knowing girly. Even yet, she does not run away from his immaturity, and Mickey expects that from her; in a way, and so does the film, which isn’t very reassuring.
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Fridays Are Fun But Mondays Are A Different Story
The film altogether does not escape but instead plays into the recurring rom-com theme of the imperfect boy holding a boombox outside of the imperfect girl’s window. But, there is nothing I seem to love more than when a filmmaker points out toxic/narcissistic masculinity in relationships in films such as ‘Buffalo ‘66,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ or ‘500 Days of Summer.’
As someone deep within pop culture and what people my age are enjoying, Sebastian Stan makes his mark as the man every girl wants and the man other men want to be. With his role as the grimacing Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, he is taking hearts left and right with his tough film persona and puppy-dog IRL character. Sebastian, without a doubt, has the ability to pull off Mickey, the moody DJ, and he brings life to the film that maybe is not entirely all there. Denise is an Irish actress better known for her accomplished stage work but has appeared in films such as ‘’71,’ ‘Robin Hood,’ or ‘The Other Lamb.’
One of the biggest things I appreciate about filmmaking is when a film can come off as improvised, realistic pieces of storytelling. I definitely can place ‘Monday’ into this category. As expected, being directed by a Greece native, ‘Monday’ stars a majority of a Greek crew, apart from the two starring actors who, in all honesty, make the film’s un-intriguing storyline enjoyable to digest. While the script, written by Papadimitropoulos and Rob Hayes, seems to have been inspired by indie romances over decades, the chemistry between Sebastian and Denise tends to drive the movie through its overdone storylines.
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It’s cliché for a film to have a man in a city of love run after a girl at the airport and convince her to be “free” and stay with him for a few more moments of adventure. But on the other side, I can see how ‘Monday’ gives you the feeling that it’s exactly what an indie romantic comedy ought to be: genuine and sexy with a touch of heartbreak. ‘Monday’ is beautiful as to be expected when a film is set in one of the most stunning countries in the world; however, the film’s true underlying beauty only came from the chemistry between Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, whom a lot of the time have sex. But hey, they are two attractive humans in a beautiful party city. Can you blame them?
But then again, what does this offer the film’s point if the purpose is to make an audience feel a certain way. Is the audience supposed to watch two individuals with no direct storyline foundation get it on every single moment? I suppose so. Papadimitropoulos might be making a point right there in the fact that life is not meant to be rushed or laid all out on a graph of what you are going to do and how to make all of the right choices.
The film has received mixed reviews after the first screening in September 2020 at the TIFF Industry Selects – Toronto International Film Festival. I agree with the mixed feelings and would rate this film 2.5/5 and a C+ for at least being digestible.
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Where To Watch ‘Monday’
‘Monday’ releases in select theaters and digital platforms on Friday, April 16. ‘Monday’ will be available to rent on various digital platforms, including Amazon Prime, FandangoNOW, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, and more. ‘Monday’ is rated R for sexual content, nudity/graphic nudity, drug use, and pervasive language.
Where To Find The Stars
Expected January 14, 2022, Sebastian Stan can be seen in Simon Kinberg’s ‘The 355’ alongside Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘The 355,’ “When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.”
In the post-production process, Denise Gough can be seen in Ruth Platt’s ‘Martyrs Lane’ alongside Steven Cree, Anastasia Hille, Hannah Rae, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘Martyrs Lane,’ “Leah, 10, lives in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy. In the day, the house is bustling with people; at night, it is dark, empty, space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon she will realize that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.”
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Isabella Brownlee is an experienced writer, video editor and filmmaker. She is currently a writer for Hollywood Insider, focusing on detailed and thought-provoking film reviews and articles discussing truth and impact in the film industry. Driven by self-awareness and unique perspectives, she takes utmost pride in providing others with emotionally impacted knowledge about the film industry. As a writer, her main goal is to connect with the audience and those who find themselves in the back of the bleachers unknown to anyone but beautifully aware of the world. In addition to her primary job functions, Isabella creates and edits videos/films personally and professionally. Aligning with Hollywood Insider’s mission of sharing impactful and influential content, Isabella hopes to enrich her readers with positivity and truth.