Holiday is a slow burning slice of life drama about a young girl named Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) whose decisions in her life increasingly take a turn for the worst. Sascha’s boyfriend Michael (Lai Yde) is a crime lord who is in the drug trade business but as the film is told from her point of view, the gritty and gratuitously violent side of his life is rarely shown. Because of this, Sascha remains relatively innocent and untouched by the darker side of her boyfriend’s career so she wafts through life without a care in a world as she parties and her boyfriend buys her nice, expensive things. However, when she meets Thomas (Thijs Römer) she starts to realise that her life may not be all that she wanted it to be.
For those who are expecting a film with high drama, lots of exposition and plot they may be left a little disappointed as director Isabella Eklöf’s approach sets out to show Sascha’s life as if the audience is a fly on the wall, observing a lifestyle which is gradually turning sour. The tension is slowly built and before the audience realises it, they are spectators to some very disturbing and realistic scenes of abuse. Both emotional and physical.
Make no mistake, Holiday is not a high concept action thriller with a compelling love story where love conquers against all the odds. Although for those more hopeful and romantic members of the audience, you may wish that it was.
Sonne puts in a great performance as the innocent and happy go lucky Sascha, she is a warm character who the audience will like and probably wish better for her. Sonne’s performance guides the audience quite carefully down that road, even to the point where there seems like there is no hope but I believe that is exactly what the story wants its audience to think, it could even be that the audience is led as easily as Sascha. Yde is equally as good but in a very different way, he manages to capture the kind of abusive, domineering man who might find a girl like Sascha so appealing but his performance never veers into parody and stereotype, staying all too real and convincing.
For those who may start off bored by the seemingly directionless plot, by the end they may find themselves sitting forward in their seats, unable to look away as the events of the film grow more uncomfortable every minute. The escalating drama slowly puts its grip on the audience like a noose and leaves them wondering what would lead Sascha to do what she does. This leaves the audience perhaps with more questions than answers but if everything was wrapped up in a nice little bow then it would be a far more predictable and forgettable story.
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