This film is not based on a real story. It is based on thousands.
Mondays in the Sun (Los lunes al sol, 2002) is another film that is included in the Javier Bardem 3-Film Collection, directed by Fernando Leon De Aranda. Based off protests in Northern Spain at the beginning of the new millennium, Mondays in the Sun follows five shipyard workers who were laid off and have remained friends encouraging each other through the worst of times. The group has their own troubles and personalities with the headstrong Santa (Bardem) as their leader keeping them together. This is a film where the strife of the unemployed is presented in a realistic manner without being the brunt of jokes, but still retaining enough warmth and not depressing.
Bardem’s character Santa lives life by his own set of rules–telling the truth and openly flirting with women. He is a man that doesn’t believe in withdrawing his principles to appease the natural order of society. Santa is more or less the shining beacon within his group of friends (even though he can be a little harsh because of his truthful nature), for a moment around him allows them to forget the drudgery of their lives. Bardem’s changed appearance for the film (thick beard and mustache, chubby frame) compliments Santa’s personality as being a strong, darkly cheerful individual who serves as an anchor for those around him while not giving into his own issues surrounding unemployment and his longing to travel Down Under and live in paradise. He tries his best to keep his head above water.
The DVD copy of Mondays of the Sun has a flaw–the subtitles. Rather than translating the dialogue of the characters, it consists mainly of commentary from cast members. While this gives viewers a greater understanding of how the film was created, and the motivations behind character personalities and situations, subtitles are supposed to serve a very important purpose–translating what the characters are saying. Without them, how can there be an understanding of what’s truly going on?
The colors of the industrial city Vigo and the clothing choices of the characters depict the drudgery of their lives. Drifting around to find work, they stop to regroup and have some fun. Whether by hanging out at their local bar or lounging in the sun thinking about faraway places and how things used to be.
Mondays in the Sun is a cautious film that has a little something in it for everyone.
Special features for Mondays in the Sun include:
- Audio commentary by Fernando Leon de Aranoa and Javier Bardem
- Making of Mondays in the Sun
- Deleted scenes
- Storyboard-to-scene comparisons
The making of featurette explains the origins of the film title, originating from the shipyard protests, and the cast members giving background information on their characters. Director de Aranoa also reveals how he chose the situations for the characters and the setups behind certain scenes. The deleted scenes are filled with a range of emotions, from humor to sadness, and it would not have hurt to keep them in the original footage. Storyboard-to-scene comparisons aren’t really an exciting addition to the special features gallery as they only show the drawn version of the scenes compared to the footage. Admittedly, the round faced illustrations of Lino (José Ángel Egido) are indeed a joy to look at.
IMDb title Mondays in the Sun