Heavily inspired by the common plots of adult thrillers such as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “365 Days” is another tale of a dominant man who falls head over heels in love with the girl of his dreams (literally). He is prepared to do whatever it takes to make her his. Massimo, an Italian gangster, is forced to take responsibility for the empire after his father’s sudden death. The only respite from his complicated life was the woman he had always dreamt of. At the Sicily airport, he finally saw her, and he decided then that she was going to be his forever. The premise is as problematic as it seems: a megalomaniac controls the life of a woman and gives her 365 days to fall in love with him. Can we read it as another case of Stockholm syndrome? Definitely!
‘365 Days’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The film establishes how Laura and Massimo are strategic and controlling in their workplace. Laura takes the risk of inviting a band to the hotel she works for. The band’s rowdy behavior at the hotel brought them to the news, bringing global attention. The risk was rewarded, and the hotel was booked for the next four weekends. Meanwhile, Massimo also takes a jump. He threatens the company he invested in with their dirt and demands a refund along with interest. After his father was shot by an enemy gang, Massimo learned to not trust anyone around him and to be vigilant at all times.
Laura had complete control at work, but not at home. Her boyfriend was mostly busy and did not pay attention to her. On her 29th birthday, they traveled to Sicily from Warsaw. She left the celebration at the restaurant to find the washroom, and that is when she met Massimo for the first time. He, in his seductively deep voice, asked her, “are you lost, baby girl?” (a dialogue that is repeated several times in the film). Laura managed to find her way back and did not engage with Massimo. The next morning, Laura argued with her boyfriend and left the hotel. After spending some time alone, she wanted to return but struggled to find her way back. Lost in the streets of Italy, she was taken away by a group of men. After she gained consciousness at night, Massimo explained to her the deal. He had her pictures painted and hung on the wall; she was the girl of his dreams. It was luck that brought them close, but he wanted to make sure that they were destined to be together for eternity. Even though he was used to getting things done his way, he thought that in the case of love, he must not be forceful (how considerate!). Therefore, he would keep her in captivity for the next 365 days, and if she failed to fall in love with him, he would let her go.
Massimo was not a “bad” gangster; he was against the trafficking of underage girls, and he punished those who practiced it. His father had spoken against it. When a group sought the help of his father to traffic young girls, they tried to bribe him with the bodies, but he opposed it. He was shot during that deal. Massimo continued to follow in his father’s footsteps. While the film had the scope of exploring the gangster angle of things, there are only a few moments where we get to understand Massimo’s life beyond being a beast in bed.
How Did Laura Fall In Love With Massimo?
Laura made several unsuccessful attempts to escape Massimo’s house. When he ordered her to travel along with him, she denied doing so. They had a scuffle that ended with Laura accompanying him to his meeting. He took her shopping before the meeting. Laura continued to show her disinterest in Massimo while he grasped her by the neck whenever she denied obeying his orders. In one incident, she ran away from the shop and sought help from men in uniform, but they refused to help the moment they saw Massimo behind her. He asked her to accept the situation she was in instead of running away from it. He presented it as an adventure that fate had given her. She, in turn, demanded her laptop and cellphone. Along with her comfort food, Massimo returned her laptop and phone. She called her mother and notified her about a job opportunity in Sicily, indicating how Laura had accepted her fate and was ready to stay with him for as long as he kept her.
Laura woke up the next morning to find Massimo beside her. Laura wanted to touch him but decided against it. She wanted to entice him without giving him the pleasure he yearned for. Massimo did the same with her, and what followed was an episode of teasing and jealousy. At a meeting that was taking place at an underground party, Laura dressed sensually and danced with other men in an attempt to distract Massimo from his business. Her plan took a serious twist when the man in question started to behave inappropriately. Massimo could not control his temper, and he shot the man in his hands. When Laura woke up the next morning on the boat, she realized that the incident of the previous night had gone out of hand. Her silliness led to a fight between two prominent families. She was not ready to take the blame as it was his friend who tried to rape her. As they were arguing, Laura fell into the water. Massimo saved her life. This induced a feeling within Laura. She knew that he could have chosen to not save her, considering the situation, but he chose her over the safety of his empire. From then on, they became inseparable.
‘365 Days’ Ending Explained: Did Laura Die In The End?
Laura and Massimo were madly in love with each other, but the gangster family fight made it difficult for them to stay together. He sent Laura back to Warsaw, where she lived in an apartment that he owned. Initially, she felt awkward after stepping away from him, but gradually she started to take control of her life. She confessed the truth to her best friend, Olga. She was shocked to know the details, and she warned her about the risks involved in it. She took Laura for a make-over; with short bob blonde hair, Laura looked like a different person. As she partied at the club, her ex-boyfriend started to follow her and asked for a reconsideration. He followed her to her house even though she continuously asked him to stay away. As she entered her house, Massimo asked Martin to leave her alone. Martin left, and Laura was pleasantly surprised to have him back in her life. They confessed their love for each other. The next morning, she woke up with an engagement ring on her finger. Massimo asked for her hand in marriage, and she agreed.
He met her family, though Laura wanted to keep the details of his professional life away from them. At their marriage ceremony, only her best friend was invited, since she knew the truth. Olga was initially distressed upon hearing the news. She reminded Laura of the dangers of marrying an Italian gangster, but she knew that her friend was in love, or at least that is what she believed. Laura was also pregnant with his child, and Olga pressed her to share the news with him. As they were returning from wedding dress shopping, she called him. Mario, Massimo’s trusted assistant, received a call warning him about the threat to Laura’s life. He rushed to Massimo to share the news with him, but it seemed to be too late. Laura’s car did not leave the tunnel, and police cars had already approached the scene.
With the sequel, “365 Days: This Day,” coming on Netflix, we know that Laura has survived the incident, but the threat continues to exist. Massimo’s rivals did not get over the incident at the club, and when they failed to murder Massimo, they tried to attack Laura. In the Polish sequel, we can expect another round of adult visuals, though hopefully, there will be some focus on the story as well. Though the chances are slim, we can only hope for Laura to have some agency in the sequel. Another mysterious man will now join the thriller, though the purpose of his existence will only be revealed after the release of the film.
“365 Days” is a 2020 Drama Romance film directed by Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes.