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NETFLIX - Erotic Thriller: 'The Next 365 Days' Film Review: Michele Morrone, Anna Maria

Initial release: 19 August 2022

Starring:Anna-Maria Sieklucka,Michele Morrone,Simone Susinna.

Directors: Barbara Białowąs, Tomasz Mandes

Distributed by: Netflix

The pandemic changed a lot of things and mainly it was the consumption of OTT content. One of the biggest franchises that received a massive fan base during the lockdown happened to be 365 Days, the first film in the erotic thriller trilogy starring Michele Morrone, which made the Italian actor an overnight sensation.

The film based on Blanka Lipińska's first book received a massive viewership and while it may have been critically panned, the audience couldn't get over the heightened drama that it presented along with actors like Michele Morrone and Anna Maria Sieklucka to thirst over.

Following the success of the first film, like any other business would, Netflix soon greenlit its sequels and months after the second part in the trilogy, 365 Days: This Day which came out in April, the third part, The Next 365 Days is already here. It's as if the makers didn't want us to forget how poorly done the second film was that they have now dropped the unnecessary threequel as well. If there's one thing that we have learnt from these erotic thrillers, it's that don't expect a substantial plot or dialogue here. Follow the plethora of twists that makers throw at you and still prepare to remain unamazed by them.

For those who had seen the sequel, the shocking ending of This Day when it seemed like Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka) was going to die, well she does survive and the story picks up in the threequel with her and Massimo (Michele Morrone) being in different places after the hardships that they go through their relationship in the last film. The threequel takes off with Laura (Sieklucka) heading to Portugal to attend the Lagos fashion fair with (Olga Magdalena Lamparska) where she has a surprise run-in with Nacho's (Simone Susinna) sister who persuades her to consider giving him time to explain his side of things. While Laura and Massimo find it hard to regain their trust and struggle with their relationship, Nacho tries his best to deepen the wedge between them. Will Laura make her pick at the end of the film is what is left to see.

The thing about this threequel is that it feels like the most pointless one among all three films. The confusion that Laura faces in choosing between Nacho and Massimo doesn't have enough fodder to make an entire film interesting and hence, a lot of the erotic scenes are forced into the narrative. Of course, it's these intimate scenes that have been a staple to the franchise and without them, the audience would drop watching the film in the drop of a hat. As one would expect from the franchise, Laura who is torn between making the right choice even ends up having a dream threesome sequence, as if that would give her the answers she was looking for.

One of the most disturbing bits of this film is also that it constantly has songs playing during the transitions between scenes and it does seem like the film uses music much more than any dialogues. The film with its two-hour run-time practically doesn't manage to present anything redeemable enough, in fact, it only further makes you wonder why are we being subjected to this messy love triangle nearly a few months after its disastrous sequel. Although I will admit one thing that's appreciative of this film and that is the makers' decision to not follow the plot events of the third novel and instead create their own ending. Given that the book's version would have received massive backlash, the directors take a safer route with a vague ending where we don't get to see Laura's response as Massimo asks her, "Baby girl, are you back?"

Whether the ambiguous ending suggests the possibility of a fourth film in the franchise is left to see. Compared to its sequel which attempted to turn things around with its twists as well as its erotica, the third instalment is merely a disappointing love triangle that lacks the substance to turn itself into a whole feature film. Combine the film's wafer-thin plot with cringe dialogues and it's an even more insufferable outing. From the love advice that Laura receives from her mother to the climax where Michele's Massimo delivers a quote on love, there's no respite that you get as the film keeps dropping its standards.

The acting in The Next 365 Days is no different from what we saw in the previous two films. If anything, even Michele Morrone's rugged handsomeness that once found many takers in the pandemic also doesn't help save this film from its doom. The fact that the film lacks any intent to convey a story that has something to say itself is enough to show you what you may be signing up for if you decide to watch this two-hour film. In the same amount of time, you could watch the entire Stranger Things Season 4 finale again. Just saying, make better choices.

It goes: “If you really love something just let it go. If it comes back, it’ll be yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.” When Massimo asks if Laura is back with him… we don’t get an answer. Instead, they both just look at each other as we fade to black.

Final Thoughts:

365 Days didn't need a sequel as all terrible content should just end with one instance to be termed a mistake but Netflix thought. Otherwise, we have 365 Days: This Day, yet another banal sexcapade. If you are in for the kinky stuff, just fast forward to those scenes while ignore the silly storylines in between.

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