HomeReviewsJapan Cuts Film Review – ‘Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week!’ is an...

Japan Cuts Film Review – ‘Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week!’ is an Enjoyable Time Loop Group Project

Time loops are a tricky thing, and it typically takes film or television characters a decent amount of time to even figure out that’s what happening. Shock and denial tend to come in first, and then the difficulty of convincing someone else that this is real causes considerable frustration and dismay. After that, it’s a matter of figuring out how to change things so that the end result isn’t the same, and the loop may eventually end. Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week offers an entertaining take on the subject, bringing an entire office of people in on the craziness as they struggle to collectively escape their punitive eternity.

Akemi Yoshikawa (Wan Marui) awakens one morning at her desk to find most of her colleagues sitting all around her. Her boss Shigeru Nagahisa (Makita Sports) walks in and comments on how his entire staff has pulled an all-nighter. While working at this job can feel endless and grating already, Akemi soon realizes that her week is repeating, though it takes two of her determined colleagues a few tries to convince her. Once she’s aware of what’s happening, she has to balance bringing others into the fold with truly applying herself for a major promotion she wants, which will only come through if next week actually arrives.

Courtesy Japan Cuts

From the opening scene, when audiences are experiencing Akemi’s day for the first time, it seems like everyone could be waking from a cycle of boredom and misery. It’s fun to see how Akemi is first clued in to her situation, as her eager officemates put their hands in the shape of a bird and then smack them down on the table. It’s the crucial reminder that kicks in when a pigeon hits the office window, and the memory of that loud sound snaps each person out of the feeling that they’ve just had a foggy dream, and it’s absolutely necessary every time they return to that same fateful Monday morning.

Where stories about time loops often run into trouble is charting what’s making them happen and how their protagonists can escape. This film offers up a handful of theories but also keeps it interesting by enlisting the entire office, at one point having them prepare a presentation for their boss that predicts each of his reactions word-for-word so that they can prove that they’re not making it up. It can be favorably compared to Palm Springs, a time-loop comedy that showcases its repetitive events in a decidedly humorous manner, though Andy Samberg’s main character is certainly having much more fun than Akemi and her colleagues.

Courtesy Japan Cuts

There’s a distinct level of disinterest present in Akemi’s attitude that makes this journey even more entertaining. She wants to attain this new position but doesn’t really put in the work required for it, and similarly fails to course-correct on a romantic relationship that tanks because she continuously neglects to apply any effort to it. Seeing her change tactics and actually apply herself to escaping this nonstop series of the same events over and over is a worthwhile exercise, and suggests a happier future in and out of the time loop.

The ensemble cast of this fresh spin on the workplace comedy is led by the terrific Marui, who portrays Akemi as an office drone who still has some semblance of a life after she clocks out, but who is slowly losing her grip on that as she allows the monotony to drain whatever energy she has left. Sports makes his interpretation of the generally clueless boss layered and endearing, and he is surrounded by a capable cast that collaborate to make this a truly enjoyable comedy.

Grade: B+

Check out more of Abe Friedtanzer’s articles.

Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week makes its North American Premiere at Japan Cuts 2023.

Abe Friedtanzer
Abe Friedtanzerhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Abe Friedtanzer is a film and TV enthusiast who spent most of the past fifteen years in New York City. He has been the editor of MoviesWithAbe.com and TVwithAbe.com since 2007, and has been predicting the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards since he was allowed to stay up late enough to watch them. He has attended numerous film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW, and is a contributing writer for The Film Experience, Awards Radar, and AwardsWatch.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Recent Comments