This week we’re taking a look at ‘Holly’. It’s a moving story between a mother and a daughter and a passion for dance. Girl’s Day’s Minah stars in this 2013 drama and her debut into acting is unmissable. Minah plays a middle school student named ‘Wani’. Her mother ‘Holly’, played by Shin-Yi, works as a club dancer at the US military base camp. Wani discovers her passion for dance as she stumbles upon a newly opened dance school and dreams of becoming a ballerina. Wani is ostracised at school because of her mother’s career, her estranged father and her desire to dance. She seeks to compete in an audition for a place at a prestigious New York ballet school for a chance of finding her father.
This film is more than I ever imagined it would be. It’s beautiful in its portrayal of the mother/daughter relationship and it touches on the social hardships perfectly. The raw emotion between the two is explicitly touching. The film is open about the social struggles of life as a single mother and the idea of the ‘foreign princess’ is referenced throughout as Wani’s father left her and her mother to pursue a life in America. The plot revolves around Wani’s desire to dance and is emphasised by her dynamic and complex family situation. It’s refreshing to see such a raw and unembellished realism in reference to Holly’s character as a club dancer for the US soldiers. Her character is flawed but forgiving and creates the perfect balance in the narrative. The dialogue is beautifully executed and draws you into the drama on screen. Although we’ve seen this ‘rags to riches’ dance movie countless times before, the underlying tension and friction in the family creates a flawless, unprecedented film.
Minah received high appraisal and critical acclaim for her debut role. She was awarded the Best New Actress award at 13th Gwangju International Film Festival in 2013.
From the perfect casting to the unique cinematography and playful soundtrack, ‘Holly’ is a touching drama with unique style and endearing quality.
Check out the trailer!