Soundtrack review: What happened to Monday (Christian Wibe – 2017)
“What Happened to Monday” is the story about seven siblings struggling to stay alive in an overpopulated world with little resources .In a not so distant future, where overpopulation and famine have forced governments to undertake a drastic “One Child Policy,” seven identical sisters live a hide-and-seek existence pursued by the Child Allocation Bureau. The Bureau, directed by the fierce Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), enforces a strict family-planning agenda that the sisters outwit by taking turns assuming the identity of one person: Karen Settman (Noomi Rapace). Taught by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe) who raised and named them – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – each can go outside once a week as their common identity, but are only free to be themselves in the prison of their own apartment. That is until, one day, Monday does not come home. The score was written by Christian Wibe.
The score opens with a short cue that would be fitting for some end credits because of the emotional weight it carries; “Friday dies” is only a minute long but a motif I would like to hear explored more. My wish is granted in “Karen Setman” which is an orchestral theme that makes me think of the music of Fernando Velazquez because it uses only strings and piano to create a rich and dark cue. No time to reflect because “Gas attack” already shows me that Christian Wibe can also write exciting action music. I just love the “Oblivion” vibe I get from it as the music just rides and rides like an invisible hoard of android horses; electronic orchestral is a niche that rarely goes wrong for me. This is one cue I can’t wait to try out on my running playlist.
The score came out of the gates flying and the first three cues spoiled me for the few that follow which are more textural than epic or emotional and after hearing “Gas attack” I want more of the same; it makes me impatient and I need to adjust my expectations in order to enjoy the entire score. The sequence of cues until “Sunday dies” isn’t as exciting as the beginning but it’s still a long way to go in this score. “Sniper” brings back the excitement for a little bit.
The problem with “What happened to Monday” is that it is uneven; it feels like a movie that wasted all its terrific shots in the overly exciting trailer and the rest of it is not as good. The peaks of this score are memorable while the bulk of it stays in the background and, I imagine, lets the images do the work. I will of course listen to the score in the context of the movie to get a better idea. It’s a shame that those poignant emotional motifs and the spectacular action dioramas didn’t have a supporting cast to match.
As uneven as the score is I recommend a listen because the highlights are truly worth it and show a lot of potential from the composer both in writing emotional and exciting music. The first three and the last three cues from “What happened to Monday” make it all worthwhile.
Cue rating: 86 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 59
Album excellence: 45%
It Was All A Lie
Girls I Need A Way Out
Can You Run
Expecting You Downstairs
Don’t Let Them Take Them
Karen Setman (Extended Version)