Review: The sex and debauchery of Fridays is fun, but ‘Monday’ reminds all of us of the reality
The Times is devoted to reviewing theatrical film releases during the COVID-19 pandemic . Because moviegoing carries risks during this time, we remind visitors to follow health and safety guidelines because layed out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials .
A warning: The packed dance flooring surfaces swirling in neon lamps and/or sea breezes in Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Monday” may cause in the viewer an unmanageable yearning to be in close proximity to many strange, sweaty bodies, fueled by disco bests and all manner of mysterious ingredients. This is the setting for the meet-cute of two American expats in Greece, Chloe (Denise Gough) and Mickey (Sebastian Stan), shoved together by way of a mutual friend Argyris (Giorgos Pyrpasopoulos). It goes therefore well that they wake up nude on a beach as households splash around them in the morning light.
“Monday” is a riff on Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” (and its sequels) , and Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend, ” films by which romance blossoms for a mere moment in time. Rather than temporally that contains this relationship, Papadimitropoulos plus co-writer Rob Hayes speculate on the inevitable reality check after a hedonistic long weekend and impulsive romantic decision. It’s not just the one Fri when they meet, but the remaining Fridays they spend together: the Friday she goes into his Athens residence, the Friday they attend a friend’s wedding, depressing and drunk, the Fri before his son concerns visit. With each Friday, more and more of who they are, plus their lives before these people collided on the dance floor, is revealed, for better or for worse, as they keep pushing that metaphorical Monday down the road.
There’s an intense physicality on screen in “Monday, ” from the sunlit sway associated with Hristos Karamanis’ camera, to the athletic, fiery performances associated with Gough and Stan. On this relationship, these two are uncovered emotionally, spiritually and in physical form, meeting every fight plus frolic at full bore. During their first weekend, Mickey tells Chloe, “You do not regret the things you do, a person regret the things you do not do. ” There’s very little these two don’t do, but the regrets arrive, nevertheless, much like Monday always does.
This honest examination of a passionate, disastrous, adult relationship, might feel like a warning by itself. Papadimitropoulos doesn’t offer easy answers, but what “Monday” brings is something tangibly real and profoundly human.
In English plus Greek with English subtitles
Scored: R, with regard to sexual content, nudity/graphic nudity, drug use, and pervasive language
Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes
Playing: Starts April 16, Laemmle Royal, West T. A.; Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; and in limited launch where theaters are open; also on digital plus VOD