HOLIDAY (2018)

Directed by: Isabella Eklof 
Written by: Johanne Algren & Isabella Eklof 
Cinematography: Nadim Carlsen
Editor: Olivia Neergaard-Holm

Cast: Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde, Thjis Romer, Yuval Segal, Adam lld Rohweder, Morten Hemmingsen

Young and beautiful Sascha discovers her dream life of luxury, recklessness and fun comes at a price when she is welcomed into the “family” of her drug lord boyfriend at his holiday villa in the port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riveria. Physical and psychological violence are a way of life for this gangster family, but when the velvet veneer is stripped raw to the bone, Sascha’s eye drifts towards the “normal” life she is leaving behind–is it possible she could still be accepted by polite society?

This film feels like a Study or gazes more an examination. As we watch the main character on vacation with her boyfriend who seems to be a gangster of some sort. Who is mostly low keys she seems to be his moll and the film mainly stays with her except for a scene or two. 

The film seems to want to present and show how Women always having to be nice and look pretty to be noticed and fit in. Also to be taken care of.

This is a movie that Is either a love or hate film. No real middle ground as it is a polarizing film.

Not much happens. It’s not even really episodic more days in the lives. Where you begin to examine any event big or small looking for clues as to where it is going or to reveal more about the characters.

At times the film feels tedious. There are only so many angles of her good looks, body, and tropical landscapes to look at 

We more watch things from her experience so while they might be laid out they are never quite explained. The film doesn’t even really come off as a character study. 

As her character seems more innocent and naive. As she is roughed up and usually upset yet seems to enjoy all the indulgences and does nothing to rebel or stand up for herself.

Though the film tries to present her constantly as desirable and a bombshell anytime sex comes into the equation the camera pulls away as sex seems to be usually taken or is more violent. So that when she is about to be revealed the film chooses to move on. Sort of like her blocking it out of her mind. 

later found out this is only when watching the film on TUBI. As they decided to cut the films sex scenes) which actually makes it seem more profound and reasonable in that version.

Which might get on the audience’s nerves. At the amount of abuse, she seems to take, and never strikes back out of revenge. Which is where you are hoping the film is going to.

Her boyfriend/boss takes members of his family kids and maybe even wife as well as members of his crew. While she comes off more as an assistant though really his girlfriend.

The rape scene is disgusting and shocking and Was actually cut out of the version I Saw and when I watched the uncut version. It’s like a horror scene that does affect the rest of the movie. Even if the film and character want to treat it more as an everyday occurrence. What is worse is that family members seem to be coming down to see about the noise and once they do see just retreat back up and is never spoken of nor does anyone try to help her. Which shows whole shocking this is everyday behavior for him And maybe what those around him have come to expect 

When a story seems to be starting it does so subtlety. Like when she seems to strike up a flirtatious friendship with a guy. Who is clearly into her. Who comes across as normal and middle class and seems like he might be able to be her escape. Her boyfriend gets jealous but also seems turned on. As someone else desiring her and not knowing what kind of trouble he might be in as the boyfriend is obviously an alpha and wants to assert his power and influence by inviting the guy over then embarrassing her by molesting her and threatening him. While not the worse he does to her during the movie. This is another in a long line of degradations. Where we feel like the suitor disgusted and don’t understand her at all and she actually begins to disgust him.

When she does finally take out her anger towards the end. It seems more misplaced even though insulted and the person speaks to her plainly out of anger. She attacks with a random act of violence that seems off but definitely has been waiting to be unleashed. As it is ok for her boyfriend who she believes loves her to degrade her in all sorts of ways but a stranger disrespecting her verbally is too much.

That turn at the end. When she even goes to a police station shows she wants to do the right thing. Maybe to just escape what she seems trapped into, but even then she doesn’t have the strength or bravery to speak and for it. Which is her character’s problem throughout. 

In the end taking responsibility and working would disturb her comfort and gifts. Just as her the film seems to stay aloof and at a distance. As the film never passes judgment on any of the characters. Nor does it ever get emotional. 

The end seems to show she has become just as corrupted as the company she keeps, with a perfect ending theme song to describe the situation she has found herself in. 

It feels like the film was aiming for controversy though would help if it was more structured into an ongoing story rather than a study where not much happens except for a graphic rape scene and ends up provocative though with no depth. 

You keep wondering where is the film going or hopefully some kind of revenge will Happen. Unfortunately, the film never quite rises and Delivers the promise that we were hoping for.

The film does show the price that is paid for that beauty and all the dirty things done to achieve and maintain it.

Never choosing to show any acts of brutality in close up until the end. Where by that time each main character has done an unforgivable act of violence. 

It’s an interesting film showing privilege and entitlement and taking abuse just for the riches to a degree and when push comes to shove when offered an escape chooses to want to keep her status even if rough to a degree. 

The film could have had something to say if it had made more decisions and gave the lead character, character. Her third act changes the whole welcome feels unearned. As if the movie realized it needs a catharsis or something to happen. As it just seems to continuously show older rich men abusing young scantily clad women. Having power over them they that they use these women with money and by the end of the film. The film seems to choose to agree with it. As we know this goes on in real life and the film chooses to show one particular situation. Which is still shocking considering the movie is directed by a female.