Holiday Review

As the title makes clear Holiday is a holiday movie. Summer plus Goa plus Bollywood equals a recipe for kitschness, though the three do complement each other rather well. Pastel colours in widescreen compositions, energetic song and dance routines, simplistic character traits and an all-embracing consumerist attitude: Gap, Coke, Bacardi Breezers and iPods each enjoy their own little commercial. In essence then, a very simplistic movie – indeed a wordless credit sequence and some exposition lay it all down for us. Our female lead has failure issues, wears her hair and glasses ready for a She’s All That “shock” transformation and receives numerous platitudes from her father: “everyone has his or her share of failure”; “have faith in yourself”; “follow your heart”; and so on. What’s more, it all seems to be incredibly sincere on the filmmakers’ part, although that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

Nor is the fact that Holiday also represents an unofficial(?) Bollywood remake of Dirty Dancing. All that film’s major scenes are present (though sadly the “nobody puts Baby in the corner” line has been excluded) as are its issues: pregnancy, class, family. And yet within this squeaky, kitsch environment it’s debatable as to how well they’ve survived. Of course, you could argue that Dirty Dancing itself was hardly the place for hard-hitting dramatics, but nonetheless they certainly existed in a more palatable form than here. More worrisome, however, is the manner in which the Swayze original has infected Holiday’s musical dimension. In true barn-storming eighties’ fashion we’re in the territory of power ballads and saxophone solos, although there are also hints of more modern flavours. Elsewhere the makers appear to be blatantly chasing an MTV audience by peddling anonymous R&B numbers complete with generic visual accompaniment and English-language choruses. Needless to say, it’s all a bit of a muddle, a fair summation of Holiday as a whole. It’s curious enough to be sufficiently intriguing, but never more than superficially entertaining.

The Disc

Released in the UK as a Region 0 PAL disc, Holiday’s presentation is serviceable without ever truly impressing. We do get the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio (anamorphically enhanced), the English subtitles are optional and the print damage is minimal, but sadly the image is lacking in true clarity. Visually the film often appears to be a little murkier than intended with edge coming across as slightly ill defined. Certainly, it’s always watchable and the soundtrack demonstrates few if any problems, but we should perhaps expect more from such a recent production. Indeed, we should also expect more from the extras department: all we find on the disc is the option to skip directly to the songs.

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