Movie Review: Monday Morning
Length: 109 minutes
Release Date: March 2, 2012
Directed by: Nat Christian
Stars: 4 out of 5
"Monday Morning" is an American drama written and directed by Nat Christian, who also has a small credited role in the film. It stars Victor Browne as Thomas Bach and Molly Kidder as Katherine Sands. Supporting actors include Jessica Spotts, Cevin Middleton, and Nick Cimiluca. This film was produced by New Yolk Times.
Thomas Bach is a rich, conservative man with a successful career. He lives in Minneapolis where he hosts a right-wing radio show as an acclaimed member of the Tea Party movement. Bach is about to launch his election campaign to become a United States senator when gets a phone call from an ex-girl friend he dated in high school. She claims he got her pregnant, so he has to perform damage control to save his political future.
Bach flies to Los Angles to meet his ex-girlfriend and arrives at the designated meeting location on Skid Row. He is hit on the back of his head by a bag lady, which causes him to lose part of his memory, including his name, job, and social status. Bach also forgets that he is diabetic and becomes progressively more ill when he stops taking insulin. His worsening condition helps Bach to blend in with the homeless people on skid row.
He now believes he is a homeless man living on the streets, and none of his friends know where to find him, including his girlfriend, Catherine Sands. Bach's life, political future, and livelihood are now in serious jeopardy. He experiences the hardship and violence of homeless life, but he also sees the courage required of this lifestyle.
Bach regains his memory about a week later and emerges as a more compassionate person. His experience allows him to become a media hero, and his story makes a successful political campaign appear likely. However, Bach finds that his experience with homeless life conflicts with the political rhetoric he must use in his speeches. Bach must now choose between his conscience and his career.
"Monday Morning" is a combination of drama and thriller that also includes a large dose of political satire and social comment. The basic premise of this film is that Bach will learn harsh lessons in life when he lives as one of the homeless people he once denigrated on his radio show. This provocative premise does not become predictable, because Christian provides the audience with many surprises throughout the film. He also depicts an unflinching and realistic look at the homeless lifestyle in one scene that graphically shows a homeless woman defecating in public.
The second act of the film is primarily a dramatic thriller with subtle sociopolitical messages. This part of the film has a very dark theme that is undiluted by comic relief. The harsh reality of homeless life is underscored when one of Bach's homeless friends talks about how pretty she was in high school. The film does not explain the role or motivation of the bag lady who hits Bach over the head, allowing the audience wide latitude in its interpretation of this character. The final scene in the film makes a haunting and bold statement.
Bock is essentially a good man, who is about to step onto a higher plateau of success in life. His actions are motivated by his wants and needs, rather than by his true nature. This film shows that modern society awards survival to the smartest person rather than the fittest individual. Bach must contend with the seduction of material gain that threatens to undermine his good nature. This story about people who live outside mainstream society primarily portrays characters who have been homeless for a long period. They have little hope of improving their lives and stand in sharp contrast to Bach, who has a strong potential for advancing his social position.
Victor Browne plays his role with honesty and heart. He effectively allows the audience to feel what he sees, a task that is more difficult since his character is frequently an observer to the action in the film. Molly Kidder provides a sophisticated performance that reminds the audience of classic actors. Jessica Spotts delivers a poignant performance as a homeless mother who is addicted to drugs.
"Monday Morning" is unrated, but it contains mature subject matter and requires parental discretion when deciding if children should view this film. Some of the scenes are very raw and will likely offend some viewers.