April 11, 2021

365 Days

Massimo (Michele Morrone) is used to having everyone in bondage to him, both professionally and privately. Contradiction? The Sicilian mafia boss doesn’t allow that, it only undermines his authority. That’s why he doesn’t accept the “no” that the successful businesswoman Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka) has for him. At least not immediately. And so he kidnaps her, when she actually wanted to enjoy her free time in Sicily, she wants to keep her prisoner for 365 days. 365 days after which she will have fallen in love with him of her own free will, he is convinced …

One would be grateful to Netflix for the fact that those responsible are constantly importing films and series from countries that cannot find an audience in this country on their own. Bringing the people in front of the screens works that they could never have seen themselves. The fact that various Polish titles have found their way to us in this way is in principle a good thing, because outside of special film festivals, our immediate neighbor is a cineastic country that tends to be unknown even to an open audience. On the other hand, the concrete selection is sometimes somewhat questionable. For example, while the crime series Im Sumpf was quite atmospheric, the genre colleague Plagi Breslau – Die Eeuchen Breslaus turned out to be bizarre to nonsensical.

Dialogues that really hurt
But it gets worse, much worse. 365 Days is not a real genre contribution, although there are always thriller elements inserted in between and – thanks to the protagonist – it is often about crime. The real crime, however, is the film itself, which is horrible in a way that even the often reviled Netflix films are not. Even in the first few minutes, evil is already looming, when laboriously assembled dialogues try to establish Massimo as a particularly tough alpha male and everyone else around him freezes in awe. And this is only the beginning of an ordeal lasting almost two hours, which additionally punishes the ears with lousy, loudly turned-up music, which is probably meant to suggest some form of harshness.

The role model for the film is clear: someone is trying to cash in on Fifty Shades of Grey. And so there is also a young, successful, well-built man, who is supposed to make a young, attractive woman compliant with erotic games. The games do not necessarily bring the greatest variety, apart from a little bondage, Massimo’s fantasy repertoire consists only of trying to force women to have oral sex and to give them a real go. The usual dreams of men, as they propagate porn, alternatively old, powerful men from politics and show business, who in this way determine their self-worth.

An overlong porn
It is amazing that such a film still appears in times of #MeToo. Even more astonishing is that the novel was written by a woman, Blanka Lipinska to be precise, and that Barbara Bialowas, another woman, agreed to co-direct the film. But even if you don’t mind how women are made into objects, how an initially independent woman falls head over heels in love with a man who sees in her only a prey, there is nothing positive to say about 365 days. Sure, leading actor and leading actress are attractive, the scenes of the usual luxury porn, including yacht and fancy house. And there seems to be a market for such works.

However, if the attractiveness of a couple is the only strength worth mentioning, if the characters themselves remain without any charisma, if no chemistry develops between them, if one longs for the sex scenes, because that usually means that the dialogues finally stop, then the question arises: why not watch a porno right away? At least he has the decency not to hide his own stupidity and spread it over two hours. Here, however, one feels reminded of the various erotic thrillers of the 90s, which, according to Basis Instinct, pop up everywhere. They weren’t good either, often rather the opposite. But at least they still had stories they wanted to tell somehow, instead of using a random generator to create scenes that were completely without context or meaning, created by people who obviously needed to get out of the house more often. The result can at best be endured as self-indulgent trash, with the corresponding ironic distance. But even then there should be more productive ways to waste your time.

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