Holiday – Film Review

Isabella Eklöf’s directorial debut is not an easy watch. The film centers on Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne), the painfully young employee/girlfriend of Michael (Lai Yde), a Danish drug lord. When Sascha goes on holiday to Turkey with Micheal and his motley crew she expects days full with lazing in the sun wearing complicated swimsuits and nights filled with drinking, dancing, and drugs. She is right for 90% of the time. It is the other 10% that made me wince.

When Michael is happy then Sascha’s vacation meets her expectations. When Michael is upset, by some miscellaneous drug trade gone wrong or his girlfriend flirting with another man, then things get unpleasant quickly. Michael turns against his trophy in violent and sexual ways that we are forced to watch in single, unflinching takes. Even when the violence has abated a sense of tension pervades the quieter moments of the film and even people or places that seem like safe spaces fall foul of the film’s simmering aggression.

A beautiful and grotesque portrait of toxic masculinity in the sun.

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