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In Review: ‘365 Days’ a headache inducing mess of a film

Courtesy of Netflix
Michelle Marrone and Anna Marie Sieklucka star in the polish erotic romance drama “365 Days” directed by Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes.

*Includes spoilers* 

“365 Days, an erotic Polish film initially released in its home country in February, arrived on Netflix June 7, breaking records and becoming one of the topviewed movies in the history of the streaming platform. 

From directors Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes, “365 Days” became an instant hit in Poland and Britain before becoming available for streaming in the United States. Despite being one of the most viewed films of the summer and consistently appearing in Netflix’s Top Ten list, it quickly became one of the streaming serviceworst-reviewed films. 

The film currently holds a 3.4 out of 10 stars on IMDb with a total of 23,994 reviews, and a 0 percent on Rotten Tomato’s “Tomatometer” with audiences giving the film a score of 30 percent. 

In my opinion, both reviews are generous. This movie is one of the worst I have watched all year and probably in the last five years.  

The movie starts with an over-stuffed, multilingual confusing mess that does not provide much to the story. Between the over-the-top close-ups of characters that are never mentioned in the future, and the stereotypes, I wanted to stop watching within the first few minutes.  

The viewer is introduced to the weak plot a few scenes into the movie, where it is made known that after being shot, Massimo, the leading male character and a big, bad, mafia leader, sees an image of Laura, the leading female character, before becoming unconscious. He then develops an obsession for her leading him to kidnap Laura and forcing her to spend 365 days with him. 

The movie wants to be erotic and seductive but ends up being embarrassing and awkward. Following a DD/LG, or “daddy kink,” this movie has countless scenes that almost made me cringe into unconsciousness due to the dull and forced line delivery, such as the infamous “are you lost, baby girl” line.  

Massimo is convinced that he can make Laura fall in love with him and gives her 365 days to do so. After forcing her to live with him and follow him around, Laura magically decides that she will seduce her way out of the situation, making her reaction unreasonable and unrealistic.  

This film has been critiqued by many saying it romanticizes kidnapping and human trafficking, along with promoting a misogynistic and anti-feminist message. Recently, singer Duffya victim of kidnapping and rapewrote an open letter to Netflix asking them to take down the movie and stop promoting sexual violence. 

After Laura is groped by a man at a club, on a yacht, Massimo basically pushes Laura off-board and then jumps in the water, leading to her falling in love because “he saved her.” Then comes the sequence of sex scenes that go on for way too long. Although it is an erotic film, 20 minutes of sex made it feel like a pornographic tape instead of a sensual movie.  

By then, it felt like I was just watching a porno due to the weak plotline and lack of any character development, yet I was upset about the unnecessary and cliché fitting room scenes. You know? The ones where the girl tries on a million outfits for the guy. One would think that they would use that time to develop a storyline, but they insist on including useless scenes instead. 

After being threatened by an opposing mafia, Laura is forced to return to Poland after spending some amount of time with Massimo in Italy. I genuinely do not know how much time had passed by then because the film gives no timeframe or indication of how long it has been. 

A “heartbroken” Laura dyes her hair blonde for no apparent reason other than to annoy me. She talks to her best friend, whose name I do not even remember because the writers did not bother to write a narrative for any of the characters, about how in love she is with Massimo.  

Massimo shows up to her apartment in Poland and sits on a couch r in the darkcreepily waiting for Laura to get home from the club. We discover it has been two months since… I literally do not know if it has been two months since they met or since they last saw each other. Did I mention the lack of a timeline in this movie? Laura runs into his arms and tells him she does not need 365 days to fall in love with him because she is already in love with him. 

At this point, I wanted to hide under my bed or punch myself in the face from how annoyed and frustrated I was with this film. This man kidnaps her, forces himself on her on multiple occasions, lies to her about his profession, almost drowns her, but somehow, she managed to fall in love with him in God-knows-how long.  

Massimo proposes to Laura and she says yes, leading to a third fitting room scene where she tries on wedding dresses. On her way home, she is intersected by the apparent opposing mafia group and the film ends. This has led many viewers to believe there will be a sequel. And gosh, I hope not. 

This movie was a major eye roll for me and it left me with one question. Why did I waste my time watching this awful movie? Not only was it offensive and degrading, but it also had a weak plotline, no character development, no arc, pointless scenes, and an awkward dialogue and line delivery. 

Referencing my earlier statement of calling IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes generous, I rate this movie a three out of 10 stars only due to the realistic on-screen chemistry between the leading actors. “365 Days” is a cliché-filled film that relies solely on the attractiveness of the actors and shock value. I will never forgive myself for wasting one hour and 56 minutes of my life watching this movie. 

0 out of 5 picks


Paulina Astrid Spencer may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Paulina Astrid Spencer
Paulina Astrid Spencer is a multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. She works as a reporter at the University’s newspaper, the Prospector, where she writes weekly stories.  This semester she started an internship at Channel 9, where she publishes bylines and stories daily for the web. She is a proud Chicana and has interests in Mexican- American activism and feminism. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and hopes to incorporate her love of news-reporting and her minor in Chicano Studies in the future. She enjoys spending time with her family, her three mischievous cats and two adorable dogs.
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In Review: ‘365 Days’ a headache inducing mess of a film