• Strictly Films

Holiday Quick View Well... I’m not Planning a Vacation Anytime Soon Grade: B

Source: IMDB

Holiday is about a girl named Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) spending a holiday with his drug lord boyfriend Michael (Lai Yde). Sascha finds sort of a romantic connection with a simple Dutch boy Thomas (Thijs Romer), as things start to heat up in this dark tale. I’ve heard about this film from Sean Baker’s Letterboxd account, has a great insight of recent releases, indies, and older films so I checked out myself. It moves freely plot wise like a foreign film which a good half is, which I do enjoy those kind of films dearly, but this film is quite traumatizing as I would say many viewers are going to be stunned towards the events happening. The Cinematography was just mesmerizing, I mean it is a gorgeous looking film. It captures the beauty of a drug lord lifestyle, you can live so lavish, surrounded by such beautiful places and clear waters, colorful color pallet as well. The opening dance sequence shot which reminded me of last years Suspiria was utterly bizarre, but left a good impression on me, well done shot and a great way to open your film. The Score when presented was good, I really enjoyed quite a few music moments, including the opening shot, the strip club scene, and of course the karaoke night scene. The cast of this film was pretty good. Lai Yde is frightening with his performance, there were times where I was on the edge of my seat, as I was terrified what this guy was bound to do next as he can be very sinister. Of course Michael is an unlikable character, but he’s a properly written unlikable character. It’s obvious this is one character you can not mess with, I even felt like talking to our main lead character while watching on screen to not make any mistakes, because this guy is NUTS. Eklof basically pushes over the boundaries with this character, especially one graphic scene one can compare to Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible... While it’ll trouble many viewers including I, the risk paid off as it gave this character a bigger reason to be terrified of him as if we weren’t already. Lord knows what he’s capable of doing to others, because he certainly does not give the slightest care in the world, which makes the viewer very squeamish while watching. Victoria Carmen Sonne played a pretty good performance as Sascha, although one may say this character is troubling, that is Eklof’s vision as she’s trying to make a point in story telling. Holiday was a surprise, I haven’t felt this disturbed yet impressed by a film makers will to be bold, since of the likes of Gaspar Noe. It’s a dark tale, told very differently, felt very free in story telling wise. For the most part this film felt like a vacation film, despite early on Sascha getting slapped in the face while asking for money or making deal in the beginning, it honestly felt like a vacation one would want to have. Then it becomes very dark as the time goes on, where as a viewer you just fear for your life for Sascha and the Dutch man. The thing that makes Holiday different from any other film, is that when the conflicts are presented, they aren’t written like any other conflicts. It felt like the film maker basically told an accurate telling of what’s it like to be a girlfriend of a rich drug lord. I mean in the beginning, the scene with the deal. The man in the car summarize that pretty girls like her, just can get anything from a rich man without doing anything, because she’s pretty. Any normal audience member including myself, would get angered by Sascha because how can she allow these things to happen to her, by this despicable man?! Well it’s clear: She’s basically owned by this man, you can claim she’s brain washed and knows this man is capable of doing anything, so her leaving really isn’t an option. Any film maker including Noe, would tend to have a major conflict, resulting in a satisfying ending. With Holiday... You don’t get that. It concluded in this vile, troubling conclusion where you’re just stunned. You kind of question if the character manipulated the man for fun? Did the character felt angered that he didn’t have that power like attitude like Michael?! Either way you look at it, it’s just nuts, it even follows another scene getting acquainted with another guy, as you have no idea what is inside of this chicks head, she could be as evil as Michael for all we know. I felt the dialogue could’ve been better, besides the one scene of Michael is explaining trouble runs the world, dialogue was flat. Even though I would’ve like other things to go different, this was the way Eklof wanted to make this story, as it turned out to be a surprise. Overall, Holiday is a solid unique dark tale. I recommend this film, be warned this is not for everyone as you’ll be disgusted in the events that follow. Well done Isabella Eklof on an impressive directorial debut, I can’t wait to get my hands on Border sometime soon, heard only good things! -Mitch Smietana

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