THE NEXT 365 DAYS. Is it a movie or an erotic two-hour music video?
Last year, just four months after the premiere of 365 Days: This Day, Netflix released the next part of the erotic series based on Blanka Lipińska’s novel – The Next 365 Days. Polish and foreign viewers had not yet recovered from the previous part, and the creators served another portion of soft porn in the form of a music video or an advertising spot.
In principle, however, the short time between the premiere of the second and third part of the screening of Blanka Lipińska’s popular erotic novel should not be surprising, because the third part seems to be made of almost the same scenes as its predecessor. Long sex scenes once again take place in well-known places, and the characters move between quasi-luxury, styleless and characterless apartments and clubs, occasionally appearing against the backdrop of the Mediterranean landscape. It’s hard to get rid of the impression that the creators just made another, third, exactly the same movie. The Next 365 Days is an almost two-hour long erotic music video or advertisement, here it is unnecessary to delete: expensive alcohol / foreign holidays / seaside apartments, occasionally interrupted by banal dialogues and unleavened, hard to digest humor.
In the second part, after marrying Massimo, Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) lives the boring life of a trophy wife, the wife of a mafia boss whose only task is to lie down, smell and always be ready for sex. She doesn’t work, she doesn’t have to take care of the house, so her life quickly becomes an empty, purposeless (like this movie) existence. So bored Laura catches the eye of gardener Nacho (Simone Sussina). When she catches her husband cheating on her at a party (it turns out later that she saw his twin brother), she runs away with the gardener to the island. The third part continues a broken thread – Laura has already returned to Massim, but having tasted life in a non-violent consensual relationship, she is not happy in life with an aggressive hunk. The spouses drift apart more and more (although it is hard to say that any deeper emotional or intellectual bond has ever developed between them beyond Laura’s obvious Stockholm syndrome), and the heroine is still alive with Nacho’s memories. In the remaining time, she is involved in partying and developing her own fashion company, where she designs clothes together with Emi (Natalia Siwiec, who gets her erotic scene in this part) and Olga (Magdalena Lamparska). The girls get an invitation to a fashion fair in Portugal, and on the spot they meet Nacho. Laura is now torn between one man and another, unsure of what to do with her life.
The Next 365 Days, unfortunately, keeps the poor level of its predecessors, and the plot of this film can be successfully described with the help of one line from the popular song by Polish band Budka Suflera: “the screenwriter took the money, then he started drinking.” The script for this film probably never was written, and the actors were sent to the set blindly, because the plot is practically non-existent here. As a result, the film is a patchwork of music video scenes that could easily be edited in a different order without damaging the film. The characters have sex, party in clubs, drink alcohol, drive cars – little else we can see on the screen. There is absolutely no explanation for the dramatic ending of the second part, and the main character spends almost two hours on the screen, not knowing what to do with her life. If only these emotions and experiences were manifested on her face, but unfortunately the level of acting is consistent with the quality of the starting material. The gentlemen still have the same angry and distressed expressions, Sieklucka maneuvers between two moods – from the sexy, ice queen with an imperturbable face to the laughing girl who wants to have fun, when Laura and Olga are already drinking another glass of alcohol. Lamparska plays this crazy, crazy friend here, and her character is supposed to function mainly as comic relief. Unfortunately, this does not work, because the humor pushed by the filmmakers is gutter level, and the dialogues are trite and do not add much to the plot.
Can you also say something about the third part that has not already been said many times on the occasion of the previous two? The saga of 365 days is simply the story of a pathological, toxic relationship that normalizes violence in a relationship and romanticizes rape in an extremely harmful social way. The creators are unable to dissociate themselves from this starting point of the series, although the next two parts, especially the third, try hard to emphasize Laura’s apparent independence. However, this will not be a feminist film, and the international success of the series and the open ending of the third part ensure that the creators will treat us with another 365 days.