The Valley movie review: Deals with a sensitive issue with subtlety

Directed By: Saila Kariat
Produced By: Yumee Jang, Saila Kariat
Cast: Alyy Khan, Suchitra Pillai, Samina Peerzada, Agneeta Thacker, Salma Khan
Duration: 1 hours 35 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5/5

Do you remember when was the last time that you watched a very sensible international film starring Indian actors, and which was based in the US? Haven’t we seen that most of the international films based on Indians are just about music and dance, and how international filmmakers have a set perception of India which they keep on showing? Well, we recently got an opportunity to watch an American indie film titled ‘The Valley’ which stands apart from all those colourful international film with Indian actors.

‘The Valley’ is about an Indian family staying in the US. Neal (Ally Khan) is a successful CEO of an organisation while his better half, Roopa (Suchitra Pillai) is a housewife. They have two daughters named Maya (Agneeta Thacker) and Monica (Salma Khan). Well, one day Maya commits suicide and this makes Neal restless, as he wants to know what exactly happened with his daughter, to make her take such a step. He starts investigating about it and comes across a shocking revelation.

Not many filmmakers have courage to make a movie on a sensitive topic like depression, and the best part about ‘The Valley’ is that it shows the signs of depression in a very subtle manner. It’s not that high on drama where everyone is just shouting ‘depression depression’. While the base of the plot is depression, the movie also tackles a very important issue of how talking to your family members and giving them time is important. The characters in this film are not simple to understand, they are very complex. You really start thinking, whether you should hate these people, or sympathise with them.

Saila Kariat who makes her directorial debut with the film has tried to be as realistic as she can be and that’s surely one of the best elements of the film. She has beautifully captured all the emotions without going overboard or making the film look over-dramatic. But, the only issue here is that this film is too international for Indian audiences. While as a reviewer a person would understand the depth of the movie, for a common moviegoer (in India) it would be difficult to understand the base. For them, this would just be another family drama. Maybe going a bit deeper in the story would have made this a film that targets more Indian audiences. We are not saying that they should have shouted out ‘depression’ in every scene, but then some more information could have made this one better.

Talking about the performances, this film has some brilliant actors like Ally Khan and Suchitra Pillai. Ally is simply outstanding as the father who wants to know why his daughter committed suicide, and Suchitra has wonderfully showed the pain of a mother who has lost her child. Agneeta Thacker as Maya is simply marvellous and Salma Khan as Monica leaves a mark. Samina Peerzada is amazing as Didi.

Overall, ‘The Valley’ deals with a very sensitive issue and has made a point in a subtle manner. But, it is strictly for the niche audiences.

P.S. We got to see this movie at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. It is yet to get an official release in India.

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