Netflix’s “365 Days” teeters between misogyny and marketable


Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) in “365 Days.” The film has received backlash from critics and audiences, alike, yet remained popular around the world.

Curious viewers have pushed obscure Polish flick, “365 Days,” to the top of Netflix’s trending, despite condemning ratings. New problematic themes — glorifying rape, kidnap and manipulation — seem to continue to bubble to the surface from each view, but “365 Days” prevails with record breaking popularity

The protagonist — by default — Massimo (Michele Morrone) becomes the leader of the Torricelli crime family and uses his power to pinpoint the woman he has been obsessing over for years, Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka). Massimo kidnaps her from her troubled relationship and doubty life, and this plot point is just the beginning of disgustingly incorrect framing. 

Massimo reveals his storybook timeline and gives her “365 days” to fall in love with him before she can be released from his lair. 

The borderline pornagraphic film has continued to balance receiving backlash from critics yet maintain popularity throughout the world. In fact, “365 Days” is on track to be the most popular movie of 2020 on Netflix. 

The plot thoughtfully weaves together manipulation and romance, which makes “365 Days” so intriguing. For instance, Laura’s fiery reactions to her kidnapping ease into a sexy tease throughout her year in captivity. This is far from a climactic point in the plot, but the manipulation of Laura’s personality facilitates an audience to overlook greater questionable themes. 

“Are you lost, baby girl?” 

Massimo’s signature response following Laura’s escape attempts could actually be an aside to the audience. Naturally, viewers will try to piece together this erotic fairytale and emerge a little “lost.” 

Netflix accurately describes the film as “controversial.” The film leaves its audience scanning for a protagonist amidst main characters that are rapists, kidnappers and experiencing Stockholm syndrome — the hero, of course, is Massimo, but even that conclusion either welcomes viewers to feel “lost” or blame the plot on simply stirring “controversy.” 

An audience devoted to a sexy nod to Beauty and the Beast may be far and in between, but there is always an audience for “controversy.” Hence, if making waves was the goal of “365 Days,” Netflix has achieved that. 

Although “365 Days” is a fictional movie, there’s a fine line between “depraved abduction turns to cookie-cutter fairy tale,” according to feminist website, JezebelThe New York Times  continued by addressing the “carnality to ogle” at in the film, exemplifying that consent is fluid instead of direct.

These ideas are partially derived from the first peek into Massimo’s love life before Laura. His suave demeanor is at risk when he forces a flight attendant to perform oral sex, but his charm is only muddled when the woman emerges from the cabin with a small smile. Next, Massimo attempts to lure Laura by making her watch staged intimacy with a prostitute. 

Despite his mysogic introduction, he still framed the kidnapping as a grand romantic gesture — comparing his actions to Greek mythology. Against all odds, Laura even jestingly agrees with his self proclaimed royalty.

“Great Massimo. Slayer of lions and little women.” 

Although “365 Days” clearly had murky intentions, it is projected to continue to draw audiences — Morrone confirmed a sequel last month, according to TMZ.   

Massimo and Laura’s happily ever after in “365 Days” is definitely one for the books — it’s just questionable which genre suits it the most: erotica, crime or romance. The tone of the film could also lean more toward shock than an actual genre.

Rating: 0/5 Stars