Holiday (2018)

Director: Isabella Eklöf
Writer: Johanne Algren, Isabella Eklöf
Cast: Vic Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde, Thijs Römer, Yuval Segal, Bo Brønnum, Adam Ild Rohweder, Morten Hemmingsen, Mill Jober, Laura Kjær, Stanislav Sevcik, Saxe Rankenberg Frey, Michiel de Jong
Seen on: 29.12.2021

Content Note: rape, domestic violence

Sascha (Vic Carmen Sonne) is on holiday with her boyfriend Michael (Lai Yde). He is older, rich from dealing drugs, rather erratic and Sascha is simply part of his lifestyle. When Sascha meets Tomas (Thijs Römer) in an ice-cream shop, she enjoys flirting with him. But Michael gets wind of the entire thing, and of course, he can’t have his girlfriend making eyes at other men.

Much like its protagonist, Holiday hides a hard core under a coat of sunshine and lightness. It’s definitely not the standard story of a young woman trapped in a relationship with an older and dangerous man.

The film poster showing Sascha (Vic Carmen Sonne) sitting at the helm of a ship. Her legs are bloody and there are bloody footprints on the floor.

Holiday starts slowly as it introduces Sascha and her situation. It’s rather clever in giving the impression – at first – that Sascha really is just bright surface. But as the film goes on, we start to realize just how well Sascha knows how to use that playful, sunshiny exterior for herself. Her flirt with Tomas isn’t just innocent friendliness, it’s her exit strategy. Sascha knows just as well as Michael that their relationship will most likely be over sooner rather than later and she plans for that.

That doesn’t mean that she’s above all the things that Michael does to her, but that she is not naive in taking the risk of being with him. She knows what she’s getting into, though the film makes sure to make us feel that this doesn’t make the abuse she receives okay at all. The film has a pretty long, and very harrowing rape scene that makes this abundantly clear.

Michael (Lai Yde) discussing with Tomas (Thijs Römer) as Sascha (Vic Carmen Sonne) stands next to them.

Sascha puts her hopes in Tomas, and it is here that she is possibly a little naive. When she finds that her trust in him and what he represents to her is misplaced, the film takes a rather unexpected, but absolutely not unlikely turn that makes it rather explicit that Sascha is not just a passive toy who has to wait around until somebody comes to rescue her. It’s an exciting conclusion (in a rather understated way).

Eklöf has created a fascinating character portrait in Holiday, using the bright holiday setting perfectly to juxtapose it with the violence that is always lurking around the corner. Without a certain ruthlessness, none of these people would be in this luxurious environment after all.

Sascha (Vic Carmen Sonne) sitting on the sofa with Michael (Lay Yde).

Summarizing: excellent.

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