9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Unemployment and identity...,
This review is from: Mondays in the Sun [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
"Mondays in the Sun", directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, is a movie where not much happens. Despite that, it is worthwhile seeing, and remembering...
Why?. Because it tells us the story of a group of friends, former workers in a shipyard, who were sacked from their jobs and are unemployed. The spectators will watch them look repeatedly and uselessly for a new job, and deal with being unemployed and old in a society where most jobs are for young people. As a result, viewers are likely to realize that having a job isn't only about earning money, but also part of who we are, to a certain extent. And in the case of most of these men, their identities are in need of a redefinition that gives their lives new meaning.
This story takes place in Spain, but it could have been set in many other places. "Mondays in the Sun" is a film about unemployment and friendship, and those are things that are everywhere. As such, you are highly unlikely to find the message of this movie irrelevant. Even if you have a job (and that is my case), you probably know that some people don't, and that they suffer the consequences of that lack.
It is pertinent to point out that this isn't a film that will make you laugh. It is somewhat gloomy at times, and the actors play well the roles of people on the edge, eager to strike out at whomever is near them. Santa (Javier Bardem) is specially impressive as a man who doesn't have a clue regarding what to do with himself now that he doesn't have a job.
Another of the characters of this story is Serguei (Serge Riaboukine), a former Russian astronaut who is in Spain looking for a job. Serguei tells the others a joke: "Two old party comrades meet and one says `All that we were told about communism was a lie'. The other says `Yes, but the worst thing is that all we were told about capitalism was true'.
Truth to be told, "Mondays in the Sun" tells us what happens to those left behind by capitalism. Of course, capitalism is not always good, but all the other systems are even worse. However, that doesn't mean we can deny that our system has problems that must be solved. This movie gets that point across powerfully, and because of that I highly recommend it.