Film Review: “365 Days” (2020) ★

In the 21st century when we expect storytelling to get more complicated, colorful, and entertaining, it decides to take a whole different shape and form. It seems that certain people are interested in a dynamic between two individuals (“Fifty Shades of Grey” can be used as an example) where they either force one another to get into an unwanted relationship, go hardcore, or even worse. Perhaps it’s much better to watch it from a cinematic point of view than a home made video, but still – this tendency alone is terrifying and the number of people demanding such content is even worse.

The Polish version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” called “365 Days” follows Massimo (Michele Morrone), a member of the Sicilian Mafia family. Being obsessed with the woman from his dream, he finally finds her in Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka), the sales director, and holds her in captivity for 365 days as the term for her to fall in love with him. He promises to let her go if she doesn’t. As she tries hard to keep herself in control, she slowly begins falling for him like never before.

When the film opens, we see Massimo’s father get assassinated right in front of him. The bullet that hits his father passes through his body and reaches Massimo too. It was then when the young man sees Laura in his dream. In the meantime, Laura, who is in Italy and enjoying her time with her boyfriend, Martin (Mateusz Lasowski), who rejects her gentle advances in the first scene citing tiredness. Despite the fact that the scene did not pay a significant role in the character evolution of Laura and Martin, it shapes the troublesome relationship between the two we should be prepared for.

Massimo, on the other hand, recovered from the wounds and being stronger than before after five years pass by, notices Laura, the woman who he later claims was looking for the past five moons. From that moment on, “365 Days” could not get any more ridiculous. When Massimo kidnaps Laura and brings her into his heavily guarded little kingdom, he tells his expectation straight to her. He promises her that he won’t do anything to her against her wish, nor touch her without her permission. However, he is specific with her – help me to be gentle with you but do not provoke me.” The provoking part is something Laura decides to skip, as she does everything to test Massimo’s limit. She is sure that she won’t fall for him not now, not in a year or ever.

But the assurance in herself or in her feelings slowly disappears as the man, like the charming prince, gives her everything she wishes, except freedom, so her 365 days would be as eventful as possible. It’s worth mentioning that Laura is getting used to Massimo’s gentle care and slowly allows herself to break the promise she gave herself and crosses the line between the kidnapper and the one held in captivity. And all that unfolds in such a way, you will find it difficult to believe your eyes as nothing makes any sense.

“365 Days” from directors Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes, who co-penned the script too, is the most astonishingly dull movie of the year. The entire plot between Massimo and Laura’s romance is incredibly unbelievable. Massimo is portrayed as a beast with good manners while Laura is portrayed as someone who does not need much attention from a man, is smart and independent. Yet, she allows herself to be manipulated by someone like Massimo. She makes no attempt to escape but rather embraces her reality, like if it was a normal thing.

The film, pretty much, has nothing intelligent to offer and decides to concentrate on heavily loaded sex scenes as a form of attraction. Almost like if it were the only thing the viewer must be caring about. Yes, surprisingly, the vast majority may fall for it, but not enough to cement it in the history of cinema. And even if it does, it won’t be remembered as a masterpiece but rather as a low quality product that disappeared in the exact same way as it appeared – suddenly.

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