The youth road trip movie is a storied genre, and Take Me Somewhere Nice carves out its spot by contrasting a modern setting with a retro production design. The film follows Alma (Sara Luna Zoric), a Bosnian teenager born and raised in the Netherlands after her parents fled the civil war. She initially embarks on a solo journey back to Bosnia to meet – and say goodbye to – her terminally ill father, but the ensuing travels with her cousin Emir (Ernad Prnjavorac) and acquaintance Denis (Lazar Dragojevic) becomes the transformative voyage.

The colours with which director Ena Sendijarević fills her screen are decidedly Instagram-friendly. When there is sun, it enhances the dream-like desaturation of a hipster Tumblr post. The occasionally burst of bold colour – found in the neon stripes or bubblegum pink of Alma’s clothing – contributes to the dreamlike suspension as the party travels through new lands. These contrasted colour schemes, combined with a boxy 4:3 aspect ratio, aid the film in evoking a timelessness that links Alma’s mission to a more universal tale of self-discovery.

The evolving relationship between Alma, Emir, and Denis is captured by three remarkable, naturalistic performances that build on each other in terse sentences and small acts of intimacy. Bodies often fill less than half of the frame: by tightening the focus just on two hands and a skewed knee or leaving a large swathe empty above characters’ heads, the tiniest movements and sounds are brought into hyper-focus. When movements become big – or violent – the shock and disquiet are magnified.

Take Me Somewhere Nice may not be an essential road trip film, but its youthful perspective and wistful ennui are immediate, tangible, and winning. The story and nuanced performances prove the importance of journey over destination – that said, however, its ending will not soon be forgotten.


Available to watch on: MUBI UK and USA 


CAST: Sara Luna Zorić, Ernad Prnjavorac, Lazar Dragojević

DIRECTOR: Ena Sendijarević

WRITER: Ena Sendijarević

SYNOPSIS: A teenager travels from the Netherlands to Bosnia to meet her estranged father in hospital.