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Film / 365 Days

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365 Days (Polish: 365 Dni) is a 2020 Polish erotic romantic drama film directed by Barbara Białowąs and Tomasz Mandes. It is based on the first novel of a trilogy written by Blanka Lipińska. It stars Michele Morrone and Anna-Maria Sieklucka.

Massimo Torricelli (Morrone) is the boss of an Italian Mafia family from Sicily. Laura (Sieklucka) is a sales executive whose private life lacks passion. On a trip to Italy, she is kidnapped by Massimo, who saw her on a beach years ago, and gives her 365 days to fall in love with him.

The film was released theatrically in Poland on February 2020 and was later made available on Netflix, quickly gaining global attention, making the top three most viewed items on Netflix in numerous countries. Netflix has subsequently taken over the production of two sequels, This Day and Next 365 Days.

This film features examples of:

  • Abduction Is Love: An alternate title for this film could be "Abduction Is Love: The Movie". Massimo's entire motivation for kidnapping Laura is so they can fall in love; she's initially resistant to the idea, but she gradually warms up to him and by the end they've decided to get married.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Laura having a heart condition receives quite a bit of attention early on, but it effectively disappears from the plot after she has fainted once from witnessing violence up close.
    • Massimo's organisation has an ongoing conflict with a organisation of child traffickers, but this plot thread also just of sort drops out relatively early on, and mostly seems to serve the purpose of placing Massimo in Even Evil Has Standards territory.
  • Adaptational Mundanity: Regarding the origin of Massimo's obsession with Laura. In the book, Massimo had vivid dreams about Laura after being shot and didn't even realize she was a real person until he saw her in Sicily. The movie changes this to the more plausible scenario of him seeing her from afar shortly before he was shot.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Laura ends up falling for Massimo, the violent, controlling crime boss who kidnapped her. When discussing him with Olga later on, she mentions finding his domineering nature attractive and doesn't appear perturbed about his line of work (though she does ask him not to let her parents know as they would understandably disapprove).
  • Anti-Hero: Massimo Torricelli is at best a Nominal Hero; his most 'heroic' actions (exposing Martin's infidelity, killing child abusers, defending Laura from being groped, saving Laura from drowning) are still morally dubious and then there's the fact his main role in the story is kidnapping the heroine in the hopes she'll fall in love with him. He'd qualify as a straight-up Villain Protagonist if he weren't the romantic lead.
  • Big Fancy House: Massimo's huge, castle-like mansion in Sicily.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Laura is visiting Sicily for her 29th birthday, where she has a falling out with her boyfriend due to him being a selfish jerk. And then she gets kidnapped by a gangster who intends to keep her for a year so she can fall in love with him.
  • Blatant Lies: Massimo tells Laura he won't touch her without her permission...he then proceeds to spend half the movie manhandling her, restraining her and occasionally groping her against her will. It's possible by "touch" he meant he wouldn't have sex with her without her consent, but he doesn't specify this.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Massimo is told by an informant that the rival mafia family is about to kill Laura. Laura's car enters a tunnel but it's not seen coming out from the other side, but overall whether she was actually killed is not seen, leading to wide speculation among reviewers that she was just kidnapped, only helped by the fact that a boat apparently coming from the tunnel is seen sailing in the distance.
  • Chained to a Bed: In one of the more (in)famous scenes, Massimo chains Laura to his bed so she can watch him receive oral sex from another woman and "see what [she's] missing".
  • Creator Cameo: Blanka Lipińska, the author of the book the film is based on, has a cameo as the bride whose wedding Laura attends.
  • Dances and Balls: In the second half of the movie Massimo takes Laura to a masked ball. She has fun until Massimo's jealous ex Anna shows up to make trouble.
  • Defiant Captive: Laura starts out as this to Massimo; she tries to escape or fight back at first, even managing to pull his own gun on him. When that proves futile she settles for snarking at him, teasing him and glaring. Then after he saves her from drowning around the midpoint, she changes her mind and is all over him.
  • Dirty Cop: Laura encounters two of these in Sicily; she'd briefly managed to escape Massimo and begs the cops for help, but the moment Massimo turns up they greet him politely and leave, as he's bought them off.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Laura's boyfriend Martin, who is established to be a boring, selfish jerk who isn't even interested in having sex with her. It's soon revealed that he's been unfaithful to her as well. He gives so little of a damn about her that her leaving him for Massimo becomes less surprising.
  • The Don: Massimo became the head of the Torricelli crime family after his father died and is very wealthy and powerful because of this. We see him attending a few 'business' meetings, blackmailing people and executing someone who crossed him.
  • Erotic Eating: During one of the walks that Massimo allows her, Laura is shown suggestively eating an ice cream cone.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After a Time Skip following her accepting a relationship with Massimo, Laura, who up to that point was shown having dark hair that went past her shoulders, is shown with blonde hair and a curtain hairstyle.
  • Fetishized Abuser: Massimo manages to make Christian Grey look like a freaking altar boy, being a ruthless Italian mafia don who kidnaps the female lead, does everything except rape her and coerces her into loving him. Surprisingly, it works. It's worth noting that as bad as Massimo is here, a lot of his troubling behavior towards Laura is actually toned down compared to his book counterpart.
  • Forceful Kiss: Massimo does this to Laura on several occasions, most notably grabbing her by the neck and turning her towards him for a kiss while they're in the shower.
  • Gilded Cage: During her captivity Laura lives in mansions, a five-star hotel and on a fancy yacht, and has every luxury available to her, but she can't leave and is constantly surrounded by either Massimo or his bodyguards. After she falls in love with Massimo though, she doesn't mind, although her friend Olga becomes the Only Sane Woman who lampshades that Laura is living in this trope.
    Olga: Laura, you are trapped in a cage! Don't you see it? It's a golden cage, but you are still a fucking prisoner!
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Laura seems to finally fall for Massimo when, after they argue on his yacht, Laura falls into the water, before Massimo jumps in to save her. When she awakens, he admits he was scared she might not make it and that he does not want to lose her, and they have sex on the yacht.
  • Guns Akimbo: When a gangster from another crime family gropes Laura in a club, Massimo pulls two guns on him.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Laura reveals to a friend that she is pregnant right before Massimo is informed that a rival mafia family is planning a hit on her.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Besides the oral-sex-on-a-jet scene mentioned elsewhere, when Laura finally decides to begin a relationship with Massimo, they have sex in the bathroom of a nightclub.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: Frustrated with how her boyfriend Martin rebuffs her when she tries to initiate sex, Laura is shown masturbating, complete with vibrator.
  • Mile-High Club: One infamous scene from early on in the film involves Massimo receiving oral sex from a flight attendant on his private jet.
  • Mr. Fanservice: All of his...issues aside, Massimo is one handsome dude, which the movie doesn't miss in showing.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Laura often wears revealing clothes or nothing at all, and deliberately behaves or dresses provacatively to annoy Massimo.
  • Never My Fault: Massimo blames Laura for him shooting another gangster for groping Laura and potentially starting a Mob War, because she was "acting like a whore" by dressing and dancing provocatively. She tells him to fuck off.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "365 days" of the title refer to the period of time Massimo gives Laura to fall in love in him, but she ends up falling for him in a much shorter time.
  • Only Sane Woman: Olga, Laura's best friend, tries her best to knock out some sense into Laura when she learns about how she met Massimo. Congratulations for being the only person who has common sense in the whole plot.
    Olga outraged: I can't believe it! Are you fucking out of your mind? You have known each other for two months!
    Laura: Stop it. Give me one [cigarette].
    Olga: You are pregnant. I'll smoke two for your sake. Fuck! I don't get it. He forced you, right? I'll tear him apart when I see him!
    Laura: Olga, he doesn't know I'm pregnant! He doesn't, and when he proposed, I said yes willingly.
    Olga: Laura, you are trapped in a cage! Don't you see it? It's a golden cage, but you are still a fucking prisoner! Do you know what you are up against?
  • Official Couple: Massimo and Laura. With helpings of Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome, what with the fact that Laura may or may not have been killed in the ending.
  • Operation: Jealousy: At one point during her captivity, Massimo cuffs Laura to a bed and forces her to watch him receive oral sex from another woman, seemingly with this intention. She returns the favor when he orders her to go with him to a club, where she flaunts herself in front of Massimo's friends and begins to flirt with a man from a rival mafia family to Massimo's, angering him.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The film opens with Massimo's father being assassinated in front of him and he himself having a Near-Death Experience when the bullet hits him; all he can think about is Laura, who he saw moments before from afar and he becomes determined to find her.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Anna to Massimo. He dumped her the same day he found Laura again and she's not exactly taking it well. She makes a point of approaching them at a ball, proclaiming herself to be Massimo's true love and saying she "expected more" of the woman Massimo had sought for five years, and tops it off by threatening to kill Laura.
  • Questionable Consent: Just how consensual was Laura having sex with Massimo, when he kidnapped her and tried everything possible to pressure her into being with him?
  • Rescue Sex: Massimo saves Laura from drowning when she accidentally falls from his yacht during an argument; this convinces her to consent to having sex with him and it eventually leads to Sex Equals Love from her end.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Massimo pretty much ignores this maxim, beginning with kidnapping his "sub", Laura, and restraining her.
  • Sex Starts, Story Stops: Some of the sex scenes serve no purpose but fanservice; a particularly notable example is an early scene where Massimo randomly gets an air hostess to perform oral sex on him, which has no effect on the characters or plot.
  • Sexy Stewardess: Massimo gets briefly interested in a sexy flight attendant on a jet flight, ending with her giving him oral sex. It's played for Fan Disservice for a bit, however, as he initially appears to coerce her to do so (before of course she looks like she can't have enough of him).
  • Shopping Montage: We get three, all involving Laura. She first goes on a big shopping spree to stick it to Massimo after he says she can buy whatever she wants, then she later goes shopping for a formal dress to a ball, then she goes on another spree to celebrate her and Massimo's engagement.
  • Shower of Love: "Love" might be highly questionable in this case, but one of Massimo's attempts to have Laura fall for him involves them both sharing a shower; she doesn't accept.
  • Shrine to Self: Massimo has a huge painting of himself with a lion in his hotel room. Laura even mocks it, saying it makes him seem like a narcissist. He defensively says it was a gift to him...though it doesn't explain why he chose to hang it in his hotel room.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: When Laura finds Massimo in her apartment after he sent her back to Poland with no explanation, she's initially furious and slaps his face while berating him, before they start making out.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The first time Laura and Massimo have sex on the yacht, Everybody Loves an Outlaw's "I See Red" plays. The music suits the scene well enough, but if you listen to the lyrics you'll realize the song is about a woman plotting revenge on her unfaithful lover, which doesn't fit the scene at all.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Massimo starts out as one to Laura; after coincidentally seeing her at the airport, he begins following her around, secretly orders her favorite wine for her, finds out personal information about her and those close to her, and eventually kidnaps her. He tells her it's because he wants them to fall in love. Oh and he got someone to paint a big portrait of her to hang in his house, clearly weirding her out when she sees it.
  • Switch to English: Massimo and Laura speak their respective native languages (Italian and Polish) towards other characters. However, they do usually switch to English whenever they are speaking to each other.
  • Time Title: A year, which refers to the amount of time Massimo intends to keep Laura to give her a chance to fall in love with him.
  • Title Drop: The "365 days" are the period of time Massimo gives Laura to fall in love in him. She ends up falling for him in much shorter time, however.
  • Trial-Period Dating: Massimo kidnaps Laura, a Polish sales executive vacationing in Italy who Massimo saw on a beach in a hallucination a year ago and fell in love with. In the most aggressive and one-sided form of this trope, he tells her he's going to hold her captive for 365 days in order to make her fall in love with him, but that if she doesn't at the end she's free to go. Amazingly, in some combination of Fetishized Abuser and All Girls Want Bad Boys, this works.
  • Wall Bang Her: Massimo and Laura have sex against her apartment window, for all of Poland to see.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Although he turns up again later, it's not clear what happened to Mario in the yacht scene; after Massimo saves Laura from drowning he disappears. It's not clear if or how he left the boat, leading one to wonder if he was just hanging around offscreen while Massimo and Laura had their sex marathon.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: One of Massimo's few redeeming traits is that he despises child abuse. He expresses disgust at working with people involved in trafficking underage girls and he kills one of his associates for selling children to a brothel, saying he has brought disgrace on the family. The movie emphasizes this to ostensibly show us that Massimo ain't such a bad guy.