Holiday in the Wild avoids the plasticity of Hollywood


Over the course of the years, movies have become more and more plastic. Special effects have gotten more elaborate; untrained animals remain in their place offscreen, and sets stem from a single green screen. Hidden beneath the artificial layers of film-making lies one single movie: Holiday in the Wild

The Netflix original, released on November 1, follows Kate Conrad (Kristin Davis) during her trip to Africa. As the length of her trip slowly extends, she learns to love her new surroundings. 

At first, the movie seemed bland. It followed the stereotypical plot of an unsuccessful marriage causing someone to leave; however, the new setting of the movie sets it apart from all others. 

Kate travels alone to Africa on what was supposed to be her second honeymoon; it seems as though that single flight from New York to Africa erased all of the plasticity known in the film realm. 

The realness of the movie reset my expectations of a stereotypical movie following the same plot as every other movie.”

Some of the filming took place in South Africa’s capital, Cape Town. The set was real at the least, and it added dimension to the movie. However, the majority of the movie was filmed at Game Rangers International Elephant Orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia. 

Kate’s relaxing week in Africa took a slight turn when her pilot, Derek Holliston (Rob Lowe), spots a wounded elephant in need of help. It as at this point in the film when the true plot reveals itself and the story begins. 

Kate and Derek travel back to the elephant orphanage will the wounded animal and begin to care for it along with many other elephants. 

Holiday in the Wild not only uses a real elephant orphanage as their set, but they use untrained elephants in the movie. 

Even though the setting of the movie is astonishing compared to others, Kristin Davis’ acting alone decreases the film’s quality enormously.

Davis’ lack of true emotions makes it difficult for someone to fully divulge themselves into the film. Right from the beginning of the movie, Davis made it seem as though her character did not have the ability to be truly upset by the divorce filed against her. At first, I looked past this and saw it as a minor flaw, but as the movie continued, the acting slowly got worse.Though her body language showed the emotions that should have been expressed, her face did quite the opposite. Davis kept a very monotone voice and blank stare throughout the whole movie.

The potential of the movie had the possibility to be so much higher if the lead actress was a little more skilled.

Though the movie ties around the story of Kate and Derek, it is the wild elephants that steal the show completely. Adding a certain realness to the set, the wild elephants make the movie better altogether. 

Holiday in the Wild is a refreshing break needed from the world of film. The realness of the movie reset my expectations of a stereotypical movie following the same plot as every other movie.