The Heart of the Story: Thea’s Journey Home
“Christmas As Usual” (original title “Så Var Det Jul Igjen”), directed by Petter Holmsen, brings a fresh perspective to the traditional Christmas movie genre. At its core, the film narrates the story of Thea, who returns to her rural hometown in Norway for Christmas. Accompanying her is her Indian boyfriend, a significant part of her life that she has kept hidden from her family. “I think many can resonate with the fears and anxieties about introducing your partner to your family, especially in Thea’s case, where her mother has no experience with other nationalities and she has some preconceptions too,” reflects the film’s premise.
A Cultural Collision: The Clash and Harmony
One of the most striking aspects of “Christmas As Usual” is its exploration of cultural clashes. Thea’s struggle to find the perfect moment to reveal her engagement to her family, particularly her mother, forms the crux of the conflict. This tension provides a backdrop for a story that resonates with many – the universal challenge of family acceptance and the fear of prejudice. The film stars Ida Ursin-Holm and Kanan Gill, whose performances add depth to this culturally rich narrative.
Reviewing “Christmas as Usual”: A Mixed Bag of Emotions
The film has its moments of charm and awkwardness, mirroring the complexities of blending diverse cultures and traditions. “Its central premise is built around prejudice and racism, and a lot of the time this felt odd and awkward,” highlights a critical view of the movie. Yet, amidst these challenging themes, the film manages to capture sweet moments of cultural exchange, particularly in scenes where Norwegian traditions are introduced to an Indian context.
However, the film’s attempt at humor sometimes misses the mark. “The comedy needed to decide if it was going to be bold and slapstick, or cringe-worthy like The Office; instead, it’s awkward and confusing,” notes a critique of its comedic approach. Despite this, there are enjoyable moments, such as the delightful scene where the family tries Indian food for the first time, showcasing the sister-in-law’s impeccable comedic timing.
A Reflection on Love and Acceptance
Despite its occasional missteps in narrative and humor, “Christmas as Usual” concludes on a hopeful note. It encapsulates themes of love, hope, family, and tradition. The film asserts that differences can be bridged through love and acceptance, a message that resonates deeply in today’s diverse world. “With a slightly predictable but happy ending, this film ties up with themes of love, hope, family, and tradition, and that no matter what your differences, love and acceptance can overcome all,” sums up the essence of this heartwarming story.
Final Thoughts: A One-Time Christmas Watch
Though “Christmas as Usual” offers a unique take on the holiday film genre, it may not become a perennial favorite. The film is beautifully shot and has its share of comedic moments, making it a pleasant, if not essential, holiday watch. “However, it is not going to be a Christmas film I suggest watching every year — once will be enough,” concludes the evaluation of its replay value.
In conclusion, “Christmas as Usual” is a film that intertwines the complexities of cultural differences with the warmth of the holiday spirit. While it may not be a classic in the making, it certainly offers a reflective and enjoyable experience for those seeking a story of love, acceptance, and cultural fusion.