Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
259 feature films. 19 days. 1 city. The Melbourne International Film Festival has just been announced - click here to check it out.x
review, Holiday, Holiday, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde, Thijs Römer, Yuval Segal, Laura Kjær, Morten Hemmingsen, Adam Ild Rohweder, Ergun Kuyucu, Michiel De Jong, Adam Strand, Isabella Eklöf

HOLIDAY

★★★★

A SUN-KISSED AND EXTREMELY BRUTAL SOCIOLOGICAL THRILLER

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
29th July 2018

Danish director Isabella Eklöf delivers a merciless, but skilfully-thrown gut-punch with her feature film debut ‘Holiday’ (based on a novel by the film’s co-writer Johanne Algren).

Reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Planet Terror', it opens with a dancer gyrating, thrashing, trapped in a dark, empty room. Her moves become increasingly angry and frenzied until the scene ends. It’s an effective piece of foreshadowing for what is to come.

‘Holiday’ takes place in the picturesque Turkish Riviera with its sun, sand and alcohol. It follows a young, long-limbed Danish girl named Sascha, played by Victoria Carmen Sonne, on a vacation to visit her wealthy, older boyfriend, Michael (Lai Yde)... and the criminal gang of which he’s the kingpin. The audience knows only as much about the workings of the crime syndicate as Sascha knows (something about property development deals), and sees only what she sees - which is to say not much.

Sascha arrives in Turkey with a suitcase of cash. After she dips into the money to buy an expensive swimsuit and avoid embarrassing herself in front of a retail clerk, a handsome associate of Michael's metes out two hard slaps to her face, along with a warning of more violence to come. Soon after, at a jewellery store with Michael, Sascha goes for emeralds over diamonds. Michael, whose finances are seemingly limitless, compliments her expensive taste and his crew delights in her beauty.

'HOLIDAY' TRAILER

When she encounters funny, handsome Dutch yacht owner Tomas (Thijs Römer) while buying an ice cream, the flirty banter between the gangster’s moll and the adventurer seems to offer Sascha an escape to some semblance of normality. They do MDMA on the beach and delight in each other's company.

Imagine a version of Anthony Minghella’s ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’, with its yachts, sun-drenched beatific locations and head trauma, that didn’t focus on the avaricious Tom Ripley. Imagine a thriller that followed the journey of the largely powerless Marge and her romance with the wealthy, charismatic but brutal Dickie Greenleaf. Now throw in the pastel-hues and meticulously symmetrical shots of a Wes Anderson film and the simmering tension of Jonathan Glazer's 'Sexy Beast', and you have something that's close to Eklöf's ‘Holiday’.

As Michael’s goofy crime family kicks back at his nouveau riche mansion and blasts obnoxious techno music on the beach, it’s all water parks and junk food, tacky resort wear and booze. There are also many disturbing acts of violence, in the vein of Michael Haneke and Gaspar Noé. In fact, the realism in a few of those scenes, or the aftermath, can make it very tough to watch.

Cinematographer Nadim Carlsen applies an unwavering, observational eye to a long take where Sascha is raped by her partner and crime boss in his living room. Filmed with natural sound and a steady camera in plain lighting, from an observational distance as if the audience were an indifferent spectator, it is raw, and without exaggeration in a way that creates a feeling of gruesome realism. Her rape isn’t what the film is about, but it does represent a turning point in the movie where its tone crosses the cinematic Rubicon. At this point, the film goes from simply being dark to infernally, pitch-black dark.

There are also many disturbing acts of violence, in the vein of Michael Haneke and Gaspar Noé. In fact, the realism in a few of those scenes, or the aftermath, can make it very tough to watch.

Victoria Carmen Sonne’s portrayal of an ambitious young woman looking for her place in this seductive world is complex and deeply felt. Sascha is at turns bored and curious, naive and calculated. Staring at herself in a mirrored nightclub (as a disco-infused Hercules & Love Affair track, 'Blind', throbs in the background), it is unclear if she is more horrified of what she sees emerging in herself or in the environment behind her. ‘Holiday’ tacitly invites viewers to consider whether Sascha is purely an unlucky victim or masochistically complicit in her own debasement.

Visual symmetry aside, the prevalent theme of ‘Holiday’ is that darkness dwells in the center of things. We watch seemingly charming characters with violence bubbling away under the surface, a criminal gang infiltrating a family resort location, a harrowing scene of sexual violence that occurs in the dead centre of the film. This theme is embodied in Sascha, who becomes increasingly dehumanized the longer she exists in an environment of toxic male abuse.

Mostly an exploration of sexuality, threat and male violence from a female perspective, before becoming a depiction of an injured woman’s rage, ‘Holiday’ is an extremely shocking, sociological thriller and an incredibly impressive debut.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Victoria Carmen Sonne
Lai Yde
Thijs Römer
Yuval Segal
Laura Kjær
Morten Hemmingsen
Adam Ild Rohweder
Ergun Kuyucu
Michiel De Jong
Adam Strand
DIRECTOR: Isabella Eklöf
WRITERS: Isabella Eklöf
Johanne Algren
PRODUCER: David B. Sørensen
HolidayTheMovie
HolidayTheMovie
HolidayTheMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Alita: Battle Angel - Go deeper into the epic adventure
TRENDINGWIN ALITA: BATTLE ANGELGo deeper into the epic adventure
Swimming with Men - A wet and wild British comedy
TRENDINGWIN SWIMMING WITH MENA wet and wild British comedy
End of Empire - The dysfunctional, tyrannical families from our history
TRENDINGWIN END OF EMPIREThe dysfunctional, tyrannical families from our history
The Public - A ray of sunshine amidst a chilly winter
TRENDINGWIN THE PUBLICA ray of sunshine amidst a chilly winter
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
The Lion King - A catastrophic and soulless remake of a Disney classic
TRENDINGTHE LION KINGA catastrophic and soulless remake of a Disney classic
Melbourne International Film Festival 2019 - The line-up
TRENDINGMELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The line-up
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
TRENDINGTHE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
The Keeper - The true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
TRENDINGTHE KEEPERThe true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
Defend, Conserve, Protect - Guardians of the ocean
TRENDINGDEFEND, CONSERVE, PROTECTGuardians of the ocean
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
When Harry Met Sally... - 30 years ago, a boy met a girl
TRENDINGWHEN HARRY MET SALLY...30 years ago, a boy met a girl
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
After - From Wattpad to the big screen - and God knows why
TRENDINGAFTERFrom Wattpad to the big screen - and God knows why
The Third Wife - Artistic, painful and beautiful
TRENDINGTHE THIRD WIFEArtistic, painful and beautiful
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
The Audience - Mirren reprises her role as The Queen
TRENDINGTHE AUDIENCEMirren reprises her role as The Queen
Aladdin - A whole new world of suffering
TRENDINGALADDINA whole new world of suffering
The Dressmaker - An insane, barmy and ecstatic film
TRENDINGTHE DRESSMAKERAn insane, barmy and ecstatic film
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us