Okay, a bunch of people who don’t speak very good English made a Tamil film called Thuppakki that referred to individual units of people as ‘sleeper cells’.
When the ticker on a news channel in Thuppakki screamed: ‘Sleeper cells assassinated’, we chuckled in mild amusement at the innocence of the makers, who earnestly thought a sleeper, a member of a sleeper cell, can approximately be called a ‘sleeper cell’ himself.
And then, some people up North bought the rights to this movie, beating many others, and remade the film. They would correct silly things like grammar this time around, you would think. No, why change a single word of something that has already worked, the makers of Holiday seem to ask, as they unleash upon us the same atrocities committed on logical reasoning, English language, women’s empowerment etc... in this XL-sized remake that’s nearly three hours long.
Maybe it’s called Holiday because the makers decided to switch off their faculties of reasoning, intelligence, aesthetics, language and sensibilities while shooting this film.
You know you are witnessing a master class in logical deduction when the villain processes information — that the people who killed his men were in ‘coat-suit’ — and deduces that they therefore HAD to be part of staff at a five-star hotel, business executives at meetings or, obviously, guests at a wedding and immediately asks his men to get him a list of weddings in Maximum City.
The hero matches the villain in the game of wits because he tries to think about the clues they left and remembers they were all in ‘coat-suit’ making it easy for the villain to guess their identity.
You know you need to take notes on how to treat women from the hero who rejects the girl because of
a. The length of her hair
b. Her shy behaviour
c. Her traditional clothes
A hero who gets excited when he finds out that she’s a boxer... and stalks her as she plays every single game listed in the Olympics and more — all in the span of a song sequence. He also does some friendly sexual harassment by following her rickshaw in a policeman’s motorcycle and kisses her mirror image. Sonakshi Sinha holds the record for being in the most sexist, regressive films ever made in recent times, with Holiday right up there next to R... Rajkumar and Rowdy Rathore.
You know you need to salute the patriotism and gender sensitivity of the soldier when he stops briefing his police officer friend about the mystery of the missing terrorist and focuses his energies on a girl who crops up on at the scene.
A girl who soon decides to fall for him because the second best-looking girl from her class ended up with a bald old man. The college girl, hence, goes for the logical choice of falling for a man who looks at least twice her age because her only other option is 50-year-old Govinda.
You know you are getting a crash course on sleeper cells when your sleep cells are activated listening to gems of dialogue like: “All the sleeper cells will become coma cells”. Most of the laughs come unintentionally in the climax when the annoyed deputy villain gets bored of the unending action sequence between the hero and the villain (the remake sorely misses Vidyut Jamwal) and tells his men: “Shoot them both”.
Modern terrorism is not about guns and bombs. Bombs only destroy bodies.
Films like Holiday destroy minds.
If there is any justice left in this world — or a God — this is the kind of pop culture terrorism that should rightfully bomb.
Director: A.R. Murugadoss
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Farhad, Sumeet Raghavan
Storyline: A soldier on holiday decides to fight a network of sleeper cells in Mumbai with his army friends for vigilante justice
Bottomline: A trashy remake of a preposterous Tamil film