Cine Las Americas 18 Review: FERIADO/HOLIDAY

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

This Ecuadorean/Argentinian production is an engaging coming-of-age story that almost succeeds, except for the abrupt and unsatisfactory ending.  Written and directed by Diego Araujo, Holiday examines an eventful holiday amidst an economic crisis in Ecuador.  Young Juan Pablo (Juan Arregui) and his mother join his aunt, uncle and cousins in their hacienda in the Andes during the celebration of Carnaval.  Often ridiculed by his male cousins, and uncomfortable as a corruption scandal involving his uncle comes to light, Juan Pablo wishes to escape the drama.  When he meets Juano (Diego Andres Paredes), he encounters a wild and more exciting kind of drama.  Juano, a death metal fan and free spirit, shows Juan Pablo a simpler and fun time, but things grow more complicated as Juan Pablo develops a stronger attraction for his new friend.

Overall, I feel that this film is mostly well written and directed.  Araujo has made a film that offers insight into what it is like to come of age as a gay teenager.  The corruption scandal provides an interesting backdrop for the story and serves as strong catalyst for Juan Pablo to want to break free and find himself.   As I stated above, I am rather disappointed with the ending of the film which comes across very matter-of-factly.  The film builds up tension only to fizzle out in the end.  Nevertheless, Diego Araujo does show great promise as a writer and director, and I would love to see more films from an obviously talented filmmaker.


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