365 Days And Other Bad Jokes

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365 Days has had a huge success on Netflix since it came out. You’d expect a movie that was #1 for quite a few days to have something going about it. To be interesting, well written, well played…
I liked the music. It was annoyingly good and now I’m frustrated because I can’t listen to certain tracks without thinking of this movie.
Which was, simply put, not ok.
I’m going to rant so, tl;dr – if the only thing you want to watch is hot characters boning each other, go ahead and watch it. If you want to watch something actually good, go and watch literally anything else. Go watch “The Good Place”. That’d be worth your time.
Tl;dra – a.k.a. too long; did read anyway – brace yourself because I’m going to drag this through the mud.

The movie starts strong – feel the eye-roll.

Your usual mafia heir stalks your usual pretty girl. Then his father dies and he’s left with a mafia empire and an obsession with the pretty girl. Fast forward five years and a couple of sex scenes and he finally finds her – by chance. You’re almost 20 minutes in now. 100 more to go. She has a fight with her boyfriend, goes to take a walk – alone, after dark, while on vacation in a city she doesn’t know – and gets herself kidnapped. Because that’s what our male lead decided was the best course of action – stalk her a little more, drug her, and play the hero by not forcing her to fall in love with him, but “giving her the chance” to fall in love with him instead. While also being very aggressive, creepy, and broody.
At first, the girl has all the right reactions – she screams at him, she demands to leave, she seems to find his game as creepy as it is… but it doesn’t last long. It goes downhill pretty fast.
Dude’s got problems. A lot of them. And all big ones.
Gal has just as many considering that she actually falls for him.
And the movie as a whole has more problems than these two combined.
I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, 356 Days gives me so many wrong vibes!

There are a lot of instances when our “hero” is very, very rapey. Nothing is ok with that. Nothing. Not going to a flight assistant and just making her sit down and presenting your crotch to her, not kidnapping someone because you think they’re your soulmate, not groping her as you say you won’t touch her without consent…
And people, that’s less than the first half of the movie. There are so many scenes where he is massively creepy and entitled!

From start to finish, the movie romanticizes the idea of non-consensual power play.

In scenes where consent should’ve been the driving force, there’s none of it. Consent is sexy. Use it. Even as a plot device. I’m begging you. Send this message, not its opposite.
This movie should not be labeled as a romance. It’s like saying porn is romantic. There’s absolutely nothing cute or swoon-worthy about the whole movie, and the only reason you should cry while watching it is because you wasted 2 hours of your life.
But what disgusted me most was that scene with the flight assistant I’d just mentioned. And not the act itself happening in it, but the way the woman reacted. After all was done and over with, with mascara – and tears – running down her face, guess what she does? She smiles. Sheepishly. And contentedly.
Yes, as a woman that’s the exact portrayal of femininity and sexuality I want to see in media. Thank you.

Second of all, the writing was so messed up!

It looks like it wants to deliver a strong, independent female lead you can’t mess with; like it wants to deliver a dark, mysterious male lead that finally learns how to be a whole, functional human being thanks to the power of love.
It doesn’t. There’s no real character development and there’s not much depth to them at all.
As for the plot, it honestly gave me the impression that, at its core, it was all about the two leads having sex.

Third of all, the Stockholm Syndrome aspect.

Stockholm Syndrome is a condition in which the captured thinks positively of the capturer. It just so happens that it’s a very rare condition – mostly diagnosed by media and not real specialists – that was first diagnosed when, during a bank robbery, the workers held hostage trusted their captor more than the officials. The reason? The officials literally told them “you will have to content yourself that you will have died at your post”. And the diagnosis, that first time, came from one of the said officials, as a response to the fact that those people were very vocal about their distrust.
Fun facts. Just leaving them here.
Back to the actual topic of this article, even this part is messed up. When talking about this syndrome, specialists believe it has everything to do with the victim’s survival instincts. It comes as a response to the situation they’re in and from which they want to get out alive and… well. So ok, let’s accept for a second the whole falling in love thing. As a result of Stockholm Syndrome.
That’d mean that our lead’s self-preserving instincts work. But, as other many scenes showed, they don’t. She’s antagonizing him – her very, very dangerous captor – even after agreeing to play his game. Then, she looks like she’s completely ok with the fact that he kills people? Like, often? She fainted when she found out, yes, but after that… it was just… a fun fact – “Let’s just not tell my parents about this little aspect of your life when you meet them, ok?”
I would’ve killed for this movie to end with him giving up on his “family business” and actually becoming a nice human being.
Or imagine her acknowledging the fact that boy is messed up and very, very, very dangerous, and spending a whole year living luxuriously only to go far, far away after and live a nice, peaceful life. Maybe even finding a decent man. Who knows.

No, instead the ending is crap too. Because of course, it needs a sequel. It’s the only thing this movie needed…

Perfect.

All in all, my point is that 365 Days is anything but a good movie, and I honestly don’t care that it had a good soundtrack and that it was filmed nicely. It was not ok. Period. Everything about it is problematic. There are too many toxic ideas in this world; media should do anything but spread them further.
And you know what hurts most? Not that it was based on book, but that its author was a woman. And the nice cherry on top – that it was directed by a woman too.
Give these other movies a try while on Netflix!

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