'365 Days' Sequel Has Arrived On Netflix And I Have Thoughts

365 Days: This Day 365 Dni: Ten Dzień Anna-Maria Sieklucka Laura Biel Michele Morrone Don Massimo Torricelli Netflix
Karolina Grabowska / Netflix

Have you waited with bated breath for the sequel to “365 Days” to arrive on Netflix? Well, the agonizing wait is over. The follow-up entitled “365 Days: This Day” has finally dawned on the streamer. Fasten your seatbelts, though. The movie skips over the climactic cliffhanger that ended the original in what should come as a massive surprise to viewers.

Instead, they are greeted by a skip into the future and a much-alive Laura, who survived the tunnel attack from Massimo’s enemies at the end of the first movie. Details as to what exactly occurred in that ominous tunnel are hazy. The “365 Days” sequel only confirms that a then-pregnant Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) lost hers and Massimo’s baby in the wake of the attack.

Laura keeps this development and the entire pregnancy to herself, only confiding in her BFF, Olga (Magdalena Lamparska), to avoid Massimo starting a mafia war. Thus, lying the groundwork for future drama. Without revealing Laura’s lost pregnancy or much else in the way of apparent suspense, “365 Days: This Day” plots forward with contrived tension between Laura and Massimo (Michele Morrone).

The Death Kiss of Newlywed “Bliss”

Laura constantly picks fights with her new husband after a blissful music montage (one of many). The couple’s issues are reminiscent of what crept up in Ana and Christian Grey’s infamous relationship in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise. You see, Laura is already bored with her new life after living it for five minutes. Thankfully, she has returned to her brunette roots to pout.

The tension feels like a clear reach to stir the pot in a movie that struggles to find a plot overall. It is a weird development for a sequel that’s predecessor seemed to set up a logical reason to continue the story considering the brazen cliffhanger that ended “365 Days.” Of all the twists that viewers could have imagined, a snoozy aftermath to that highly suspenseful finale was not it.

Viewers are treated to Laura pushing back against Massimo and his Christian Grey-esque concern for her safety. It is hard to tell if she legitimately feels smothered (she goes out with Olga constantly). Or if this is an attempt by the “365 Days” franchise to address the controversy surrounding its first installment. Not that Laura was a pushover back then.

Cut to the sequel, and Laura might have left the original crazy in love with Massimo, but newlywed life does little to keep her that way. It is fair to say that “365 Days: This Day” addresses the shallowness of Laura and Massimo’s predominantly physical connection. It all begs pivotal questions. Is Massimo and Laura’s love a deep and abiding one? Or is it a potent physical bond that lacks true emotional depth?

365 Days: This Day 365 Dni: Ten Dzień Anna-Maria Sieklucka Laura Biel Netflix
Karolina Grabowska / Netflix

Best Left Unspoken?

The sequel explores the answers without much dialogue. Unfortunately, silence does not speak many volumes here. There is not much in the way of any words as the franchise pivots into a glorified sequence of successive music videos. “365 Days: This Day” assumes that Netflix viewers are watching for those scenes (wink) and not much else in the way of substance. It is a miscalculation and a misfire.

“365 Days” may not have been the deepest of oceans, but it was far less shallow than its sequel, and if you are watching for Massimo, you will be gravely disappointed. It feels as though Massimo and his breakout portrayer are barely in the movie despite a plot twist that should give Michele Morrone more screen time, not less.

The lack of Massimo is yet another confusing twist to the surprising detours “365 Days: This Day” takes. Sadly, these turns do not swerve to surprise the audience genuinely. On the contrary, they feel like contrived cop-outs to keep the movie from getting more nuanced than it wants to be. It aims to be a long music video, and that is what it accomplishes, no more and no less.

It Is Not All Bad News

What “365 Days: This Day” takes away from Massimo, it gives with newcomer Nacho (Simone Susinna). None of Nacho’s introduction makes sense, nor does what follows. (You must resist the desire to engage in probing thought to make it work.) Nacho is a likable character played by an appealing actor, and the same goes for Laura and Massimo’s portrayers.

The movie is simply not here to cater to their potential talents as it should, which is a shame. Hopefully, Netflix will do more with the series’s ensemble in the future. It may look easy. However, the task that the “365 Days” cast has to convey and maneuver is undoubtedly more difficult to perform than it appears.

The film series’s stars must hold the interest of a frustratingly avoidable paper-thin plot with dreamy gazes and extensively steamy sequences without making the movie feel humid. They succeed. What “365 Days: This Day” lacks in comparison to the thought-provoking commentary of “Sex/Life” and “Dark Desire” -- it makes up for with its eye-catching exotic locales.

The Polish/Italian film solidifies Netflix’s incredible hold on the international market. Plus, “365 Days: This Day” provides a vacation without leaving the couch. Not since France’s mesmeric “UV” and the equally compelling “Little White Lies” has a movie provided viewers with such stunning staycation transportation. Where those films had comic undertones, the sequel to “365 Days” is all drama.

Final Thoughts

“365 Days: This Day” is a steamy guilty pleasure hotter than anything that the mainstream “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise could present. It ups the ante from the original, which seemed an impossible task. That said, it feels more geared to satisfy those attracted to men than women.

As far as the storyline goes, there is not a lot of substance. Perhaps, the adaptation is unfair to Blanka Lipińska’s book series in that regard. They might possess more in them. One thing is for certain, like any good soap opera, “365 Days: This Day” has an ending that makes you curious to see more of the “365 Days” universe unfold on Netflix.