Holiday (1938)

We live in a world where numbers form a majority. How much ever an individual tries to be different, he or she often encounters the majority, be it in the form of opinions, values, or the way things need to be handled, and the best of all is, the way to lead one’s life.

Wish it was as simple as following a book of code written by one individual. The point is not to berate or deride the opinions made by the person who shared his views on leading life; the mistake is to believe that is the only way to lead a life.

Holiday epitomises such kind of mood through various protagonists who dare to question the status quo. Johnny Case (Cary Grant) a charming young businessman who goes by his inner voice. One can see how he goes about his life and the view he holds for his life.

He is in love with Julia Seton (Doris Nolan) and proposes to her to marry him. She agrees. How often we marry the person we love and say we share each other’s vision for life?

Are we complacent that we can persuade the other partner to make them come to terms with our expectations?

Well, to make love, it isn’t. To marry, it becomes the talking point. The free spirit that often embodies the lovers is narrowed when the talk of marriage does the rounds.

What is it that marriage continues to hold a different view?

Marriage involves society to a more considerable extent, and this has continued through ages and will continue. One can fall in love, and that’s acceptable, but can we marry the same in all situations? Often society comes to the picture, and in immense interest, I believe it’s a form of excuse unless it considers the individual.

Johnny is surprised to know the wealthy status of Julia. He meets Linda (Katherine Hepburn), Julia’s free-spirited sister, and Ned (Lew Ayres), who feel bottled up under their father’s authoritarian behaviour.

The movie has a kid’s playroom analogous and quite a contrast to the outer world, which calls for increased sophistication and hypocrisy. Linda is in love with Johnny as she finds him to be the right guy who would respect and complement her free-spiritedness.

Although Johnny is in love with Julia, he can’t deny that he is intellectually connected to Linda.

Irrespective of her being rich, he is keen on holding on to his dreams. On the other hand, Julia is convinced about Johnny accepting her dad’s proposal of working and earning money. While asking Julia’s hand, Johnny speaks his heart to her dad, which surprises Julia.

The idea of Johnny working for few years and then taking a holiday to discover his life doesn’t fit the bill of pragmatism as per Julia and her dad. Although he couldn’t convince Julia, Johnny convinced Linda with his Vivre de Joie without convincing her.

The movie isn’t a serious one; it has well-written dialogues and is more of a romantic comedy-drama.

The child playroom is often seen as a metaphor to allow the kid within us to be playful even while growing each day.

Directed by George Cukor, this movie brings out the best of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and the chemistry they share on-screen is something that’s been talked about by many over the years. The storyline isn’t out of the box but a simple reflection on the society we live in.

The playroom scenes of tricycles, puppets, and other horse saddling remind us that each individual has a fearless child inside us who loves to enjoy irrespective of what others think in its fashion. This certainly is one of my favourite Cary Grant movies.

Released in 1938, Holiday is a remake of the 1930 movie of the same title. Holiday managed to get a Oscar nomination under the category of Best Art direction with the affluent sets being used.

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