CAST: Kanan Gill,  Ida Ursin-Holm, Marit Andreassen

DIRECTOR: Peter Holmsen

Christmas as Usual Review – Typical Cultural hotchpotch – Abstract AF!

“Christmas as Usual” on Netflix presents a fascinating exploration of cultural dynamics wrapped in a light-hearted, comedic package. Set against the backdrop of Norway’s Christmas traditions, the film delves into the often humorous misunderstandings that arise when different cultures intersect. The story is based on real events, adding a layer of authenticity to the narrative.
Christmas as Usual - Rotten Tomatoes

The plot revolves around Thea, a Norwegian woman, and her fiancé Jashan, of Indian descent. Thea, played by Ida Ursin-Holm, is conscious of her family’s limited understanding of other cultures and decides to keep Jashan’s Indian heritage a secret. This sets the stage for a series of comedic and sometimes awkward encounters, as Jashan, portrayed by Indian comic and YouTuber Kanan Gill, meets Thea’s family for the first time.

The family, including Thea’s mother Anne-Lise, brother Simen, sister-in-law Hildegunn, and niece Ronja, adhere to unique Christmas customs that Jashan finds challenging to navigate. Anne-Lise, portrayed by Marit Andreassen, is a particularly interesting character, representing how cultural prejudices can be deeply internalized and perpetuated through family dynamics. Her difficulty in adjusting to Jashan, including mispronouncing his name and holding onto outdated beliefs, adds depth to the film’s commentary on cultural ignorance.

The True Story Behind Christmas as Usual, Revealed

Meanwhile, Thea’s actions are a point of contention. Her reluctance to confront her mother’s prejudices and openly embrace Jashan’s culture reflects a larger issue of not standing up against ingrained societal biases. This aspect of the film adds a layer of complexity to Thea’s character and provides a commentary on modern societal dynamics.

Despite its central theme of cultural misunderstanding, “Christmas as Usual” maintains a comedic and breezy tone. The chemistry between Holm and Gill is a highlight, offering a charming and engaging romance that anchors the film. While some elements of the story may feel outdated, they contribute to the film’s exploration of cultural integration and misunderstanding.

Visually, the film is a treat, with stunning depictions of snow-covered Norwegian landscapes and high-quality production values in indoor scenes. It offers viewers a glimpse into Norwegian Christmas customs, adding an educational element to the entertainment.

The film ‘Christmas As Usual’ draws inspiration from the real-life love story of Director, Peter Holmsen’s sister, Mia Holmsen, and her husband, Akshay Chaudhry. The narrative is loosely based on events that unfolded when Mia introduced Akshay to her family during Christmas in 2020. While the movie takes creative liberties to dramatize and amplify the encounters, the essence of two cultures coming together, navigating differences, and seeking mutual understanding is rooted in Mia and Akshay’s real-life interaction.

“Christmas as Usual” is more than a typical holiday movie. It skillfully combines humor with cultural commentary, resulting in a heartwarming and thought-provoking film. For those interested in a blend of Indian and Norwegian cultures and a story that navigates cultural complexities with a light touch, this movie is a recommended watch.

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