Mondays in the Sun

2002 [SPANISH]

Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.5 10 14149

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March 22, 2022 at 01:59 AM

1.02 GB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 8 / 10

A Bitter and Sad Worldwide Contemporary Story, With Magnificent Performances

In an industrial city in Spain, five unemployed middle-aged friends daily meet in a bar, whose owner was also a former employee of the local shipyard, for drinking and small talk. Santa (Javier Barden) is their rebel leader, who dreams to move to Australia, and is being sued by the owner of the shipyard for breaking a 8,000 pesetas light. The insecure José (Luis Tosar) feels inferiority complex of his wife Ana (Nieve the Medina), who is supporting their home with a temporary work in a tuna can factory. Paulino (José Ángel Egido) is permanently trying to find a job through unsuccessful applications. The Russian Serguei (Serge Riaboukine) studied in Soviet Union to be an astronaut and seems to accept his life status. The depressed Amador (Celso Bugallo) misses his wife, who left him some time ago. For all of them, each jobless idle day looks like a Sunday.

"Los Lunes al Sol" is a bitter and sad worldwide contemporary story, with magnificent performances. I am marine engineer and Rio de Janeiro is the greatest Brazilian pole of naval construction. In the 80's and 90's, I saw many people of this sector, including friends and colleagues, losing their jobs and many of them changing their professions with the crisis in this sector. This type of situation happened in many other economical sectors, and Brazil has presently about a ten percent unemployment rate. I feel very sorrow for those who lost their jobs, and the large number of street vendors and slums in my hometown, associated to very low wages, reflect our present situation. The universe of Santa and his friends may be extended too to many other countries and sectors of the economy, therefore it is very easy to sympathize and understand the drama of the characters. This impressive film is also very well directed and watching it is a worthwhile experience, mainly for the younger generations. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Segunda-Feira ao Sol" ("Monday in the Sun")

Reviewed by jotix100 6 / 10

Suntanned and unhappy

The Spanish film committee that chose this film over Pedro Almodovar's "Talk to her" to represent that country in the best foreign film at the Oscars, made a terrible a blunder. The rest is history: Hollywood preferred to honor the wronged man, and no one ever heard about this movie. It didn't get a commercial run in the United States, as far as I'm concerned, because it is a film that outside Spain has no great appeal.

This film reminded me of a day at "Cheers", the Boston bar where the TV series took place, but without one iota of humor. The atmosphere is so bleak that it depresses the viewer as this heavy tale the director, together with his screen writer, decides to present us about unemployment in Northern Spain. There is such a gloom in this film as in no other film in recent memory. A lighter tone would have greatly improved this static film.

The film, as directed by Fernando Leon, shows not a ray of hope for these idled workers who spend their days at the bar where they are able to get drinks on credit while they wait for better days. This bunch prefer to stay in a state of limbo rather than going away from the area where unemployment is rampant. They all complain how about the Koreans are making better and cheaper ships while having their drinks and seeing the world passing them by without even the least amount of worry about what tomorrow would bring. On top of that, the film feels false from beginning to end.

Javier Bardem, with his rugged face, is the leader of this pack. His Santa is a man with a lot of pain and resentment, yet he prefers to bask in the sun rather than going to work and stop feeling sorry for himself. Luis Tosar is Jose who has his own demons to deal with. He is a coward who feels threatened by a wife who has her feet on the ground. Jose Angel Egido and Nieve de Medina are good in their roles.

This movie is a painful reminder of what is wrong with the film industry in Spain, as well as other European countries that had seen better times. Everyone is ready to denounce Hollywood and the American film industry as the culprit for their decline. But just think about planning a Saturday night dinner and going to the movies for a relaxing time, if the selection was "Monday in the Sun", please prepare the Alka-Seltzer for the indigestion afterward!

We hope director Leon lightens up for his next opus.

Reviewed by lastliberal 8 / 10

Unemployment is an emasculating predicament.

It is not hard to say a movie is great when it has won 37 awards, and has another 18 nominations. The greatness of this movie is hardly disputed.

But will you like it? Sadly, most will not because it is a depressing subject. You certainly don't go looking for entertainment in a movie about unemployment.

That's too bad, because you will miss an outstanding performance by Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Before Night Falls, Mar adentro), and a great story that will certainly touch the lives of everyone who sees it.

Santa (Bardem) and his pals Jose (Luis Tosar) and Lino (José Ángel Egido) congregate in a makeshift bar run by another friend, Rico (Joaquín Climent). Here they philosophize and console one another after they all have been laid off from a shipyard that closed.

We follow them as their marriages become strained or fall apart. One commits suicide and another dies his hair and borrows his son's clothing in an attempt to compete with men half his age. Alcohol is consumed in copious amounts to dull the pain that, because of being unemployed, they are no longer men.

This is not just a Spanish dilemma, it is also played out right here in America as companies move offshore. One could also consider this film highly appropriate as we are soon to decide if our country continues in this direction.

Minor characters interact with the friends, but it is their closeness that is the central focus. Like Siamese twins, if one falls, they will all fall.

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