Stories of dystopian futures where society is being controlled in some manner often revolve around the hero that will rise up and challenge the oppressive system. What Happened To Monday, the new film hitting Netflix this week, makes the stakes a bit more personal.
Set a vague amount of time in the future, overpopulation and food scarcity has lead to governments putting population controls in place, limiting all families to one child each. Into this world are born septuplets, who are hidden by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe). He gives each the name of a day of the week and creates a system where they all take on the same identity, each going out only on the day they’re named after. Once they’re grown (and played by Noomi Rapace) something happens to Monday that has the potential to expose their secret and bring the full weight of the government down on the family.
The poster does a pretty good job of conveying a few different story points in a single effort. First, there’s the overall setting, which is shown here to be a city that looks as if it were pulled straight from Blade Runner. All the buildings are close together and tightly-packed, offering clues as to the state of society at this point. That’s helped by the “One family, one child” message that’s displayed on a couple of the buildings, a message that seems tied to the face that’s shown on other building exteriors. Toward the top we see seven women leaping across a gap between two buildings, a man with his gun drawn on the other side waiting for them. “Seven sisters. One identity.” helps convey the intrigue and subterfuge that will form the crux of the story.
There was some unofficial marketing done a while ago but the first official trailer hit just a few weeks before the movie’s release date. it starts out with the Cayman explaining that the siblings laws are there for the protection of all society and that illegal children will be taken away, their parents punished. We see then the father of newly-born septuplets conspiring to hide his children, explaining to them all the plan. The authorities are soon on to them, though, and lots of running, jumping, shooting and other action follows as the dragnet around them tightens.
I like the trailer’s pace. It’s a tight recap of the premise of the story and the action that will form much of the movie’s appeal. There’s no time wasted on explaining the backstory of the world it takes place in and why population controls are in place, it just states that reality and moves on to what’s important, namely the lives of the seven sisters. Dafoe is always great but let’s give it up for Rapace, who has to not only play seven different roles but play off six other versions of herself while doing so.
Online and Social
Nope. Netflix gave the movie limited support on its own social channels but that’s about it for online marketing efforts.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Similarly, another goose egg from Netflix, which doesn’t see movie-specific advertising as an important revenue driver.
Media and Publicity
After it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival news broke that Netflix had already picked it up for distribution.
Not a whole lot of publicity outside of that. Most of the press coverage over the subsequent months came from the release of various marketing materials or small comments from Rapace or Dafoe but nothing that amounted to a big press push.
Another movie with a really interesting premise and some well-known actors that are being given short shrift by Netflix in the marketing department. It’s too bad because this seems like a decent story that might have something to say about the path the world is going down, a cautionary tale of sorts. But the small-scale campaign is focused not on the story but on the shootouts and chase sequences that make for better visuals. There’s a nice consistent tone to the campaign as it’s all decked out in slick grays and blues, but it still suffers from just not being substantive enough to, I’d imagine, get on most people’s radar.