At the interval of Holiday, half the crowd is leaving, despite your desperately telling them that it’s just a movie. The other half has already left, and you start feeling insecure.
Yes, it’s never fun being the only person in a movie hall. For example, it’s hard to find your seat when you come back from the loo, since there is no neighbour’s form to remember. Then, if the power suddenly goes in between, you’ll feel stupid being the only one whistling and heckling. Then there are the mindgames by the staff. Sometimes they congregate in the projector room and, when everything is quiet, suddenly scream just to see how you react. Sometimes they put the AC on full blast. Sometimes they fast-forward the songs. Sometimes the sweepers enter to clean up for the next show with an hour of the movie still showing, loudly chatting amongst themselves.
If you survive all these, there’s still Holiday to contend with. This is a film made by Pooja Bhatt. Yes, the same woman who made other movies by her. There seems to be a pattern in her films – they all have unique scripts, they all feature less-known actors, and they all flop. Holiday is a quintessential example.
Let’s get the story out of the way first. Muskaan (Onjolee Nair), a dopey 18-year-old, goes with her family to Goa on a vacation. Any seasoned actress would have made Muskaan look what she was supposed to be – an average-looking girl with low self-esteem. Onjolee Nair makes her look like an average-looking girl with horrible acting skills. On the plus side, she gets to speak mostly after the interval, by which time you’d have left.
Muskaan sees Dino (Dino Morea), a salsa/ballet instructor, in a performance, and immediately falls in love with him – you have to guess this, since it is tough to make out anything from her expressions except that she exists.
Now Dino has a dance partner Alisa (hot), who gets pregnant for no fault of hers. No, it’s not that someone did it when she wasn’t around – she was lured with a promise of marriage. Muskaan lends her money for the abortion, and is recommended by a grateful Alisa to Dino as his dance partner for the next performance.
Dino starts teaching Muskaan to dance, and they fall in love with each other, since they complement each other – he makes her look like a great dancer, and she makes him look like a great actor. But Muskaan’s dad Dr. Suri (Gulshan Grover) doesn’t like Dino since Dino once claims to be the man who impregnated Alisa. No father would like it that his prospective son-in-law has already impregnated Alisa, and so he tells Muskaan to lay off Dino. The rest of the movie is about how they find out who impregnated Alisa. If you don’t believe us, you can find out for yourself.
The primary problem with Holiday is that the theme revolves around a character enacted by a person who can’t act for nuts. Onjolee Nair is undoubtedly a good ballet/salsa dancer, but this role requires an award-winning actress. The end result is that there are 2 watchable songs (Tu Hai Bhatakta Jugnu Koi and Aashiyan Ban Gaye) due to some great dancing, but a whole lot of gunk accompanying it. The story is unconvincing – a huge feat considering this is almost a remake of Dirty Dancing – the screenplay can pack no soul, and the film goes through the motions.
Dino Morea is okay, and surprisingly dances well. All other performances are good in a film that’s almost the cut-off for low-budget, despite all that hype about Goa’s beaches. Some of the lyrics and a couple of songs are good, but unless you are trained, don’t watch this one.