Radio commentator, Thomas Bach, runs for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota. Through a circumstance, he ends up in the middle of L.A.'s brutal homeless community. What he does with his new awareness is pitted against the forces. of security.
A story about those who have fallen out of the system. A man who is not homeless, but upwardly mobile as an opinionated radio host, is about to step up to another plateau as a politician. His true nature is good, but his actions are motivated not by his nature, but by needs and wants that a system like ours seduces us with. A system where survival is awarded not to the fittest anymore, but to the cleverest. The downtrodden characters in "Monday Morning" are the hardcore homeless. Hopeless rather than homeless. For writer-director, Nat Christian, "Monday Morning" is when the mechanism of the city wakes up - car horns start honking, water sprinklers start gushing, trucks barrel down the road, workers hose the sidewalks, and the homeless people get out of the way. "Mature subject matter" and "Viewer Discretion" is definitely advised.Written by
Monday Morning definitely puts itself there to be loved or to be shot at. We loved it.
I think about movies that I love. With most, whether they are comedies or dramas, thrillers or action movies, I usually walk away feeling that I saw something original or enlightened. Either in a very real way or superficially, whether or not the story has been told before. From Casablanca to Terminator 2. The Best Years Of Our Lives to Thor. There is always something there.
Monday Morning pushes the envelope and forces us to either look or look away. I suspect that most look, and maybe more so with younger people. The movie shows the homeless situation like I've never seen before. And the scenes that would make those look away and maybe not give the movie a chance are the same reasons many of us look away when a homeless person approaches us (I'm guilty too). We just don't want to deal with the real reality of it all. So when a woman defecates on a sidewalk or a homeless woman gets raped or a man is set on fire, we don't really want to know that that is what is happening on our streets. It's easier to feel that they are down and out and we are kind enough to give them some money now and then. We probably also don't want to hear again that power is what counts in our free society, or to get rid of those that hate us and want to do us harm we should stop doing things that make people hate us (homeless people talking around a campfire). This threatens our stability. Not really, but it might seem to. And it's hard to take and some will probably take it out on the movie. And some will love the movie.
Monday Morning is an important film. It illuminates. Entertaining yes in the sense that we follow a conservative player from MN to L.A. and walk through the streets with him when he loses his memory.
Victor Browne gives us a wonderful characterization of the lead character, Thomas Bach. His romantic interest, is played honestly by Molly Kiddder. Jessica Spotts gives us a sincere and heart wrenching performance as a homeless woman. Beth. And Nat Christian brings some laughter along with empathy as a homeless man, Damn.
Christian is also the writer-director and he is obviously taking a stand with this and putting up the mirror. He beautifully weaves in many of the horrific situations (that our homeless population encounters daily) with the story line. His actors deliver very real and organic performances. Notably (along with those already mentioned), Robert Axelrod, Cliff Sprung and Robert Pike Daniel. The editing (Peter Srinivasan, Jonathan Fung and Christian) mixed many different elements with the right doses.
Christian also went for something here - a sort of "real" surrealism, making something very unusual fit within the very real world of the homeless in Los Angeles (for that matter the world).
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