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.
'Dhadak' Movie Review: Ishaan-Janhvi's love saga is full of innocence and old-school romance
Directed By: Shashank Khaitan
Produced By: Dharma Productions
Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter
Duration: 2h 30m
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5 stars
How will be this ‘Sairat‘ remake was the initial thought in my mind while I stepped inside the theater to watch Karan Johar‘s production ‘Dhadak’. Considering that Karan was launching two new faces in Shahid Kapoor‘s brother Ishaan Khatter and Sridevi‘s daughter Janhvi Kapoor, just like Nagraj Manjule did with Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar in 2016.
No, I am not going to compare the 2016 hit Marathi venture with Janhvi-Ishaan’s labor of love. As ‘Sairat’ had its own raw touch and feel with characters with Marathi dialect and storyline set in rural Maharashtra, ‘Dhadak’ takes us on a trip to the land of sand dunes, Rajasthan, with the perfect Mewadi dialect. I will not talk about who aced it well but it surely connects us with the plot of this love story.
Not wasting much of your time, let us glance through the minute aspects of this saga, one point at a time.
Set in the land of palaces i.e Udaipur, the film begins with tickling our funny bones as Madhukar (Ishaan), son of a small restaurant owner, daydreams about his love or say love at first sight Parthavi (Janhvi Kapoor), daughter of a powerful politician, Ratan Singh (Ashutosh Rana). The love saga of the two begins with the first scene of the film.
While the cute nok-jhok of Madhukar and Parthavi runs through the first half, side by side; we witness the calm before the storm- which is the beginning of the casteism, societal and parental pressure and political inclination.
As much as the half piece of this cake focuses on the two head over heel in love couple, it throws light on the impeccable of bonding of Madhukar with his friends Purshottam and Gokul.
On the other hand, the next hour of Janhvi-Ishaan’s love story gains momentum as we witness the battle between love and castism. How the two move from Mumbai to Nagpur and then to Kolkata, in order to find shelter for themselves, with a constant fear in mind of them being caught, builds the crux of the second half of this love story.
But as much as the second half seems promising initially, Janhvi-Ishaan’s love saga takes a back burner with an abrupt end, which ultimately left me thinking whether it will have a sequel to it or maybe the director, Shashank Khaitan was short of words to complete this love-story?
Ishaan Khatter steals the thunder in this one with his comic timing, natural acting, and the Mewari dialect. The actor doesn’t look like a one film old wonder as he holds the fort with his charming personality. In almost every scene you would connect with his eyes while his action does the rest.
Coming to his friends Purshottam(Shridhar Watsar) and Gokul (Ankit Bisht), these two are playing their part in the best way possible. Purshottam will make you go ‘aww he is so cute’ every time he appears on the big screen. This trio’s friendship is one of the major highlights of this saga.
Moving on to the Heroine of the film Janhvi Kapoor; she does her bit with class and is pleasant to one’s eyes. However, she fails to draw out attention due to her poor dialogue delivery in few scenes.
Ashutosh Rana, who plays Janhvi’s father, lacks the cruelty which is needed for his character, though he stands out in some scenes, whereas, Aditya Kumar, who plays Janhvi’s brother (Roop), has a short lifespan in the movie, yet has a fair play.
Direction and Cinematography
Shashank Khaitan who has directed films like ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya’ in the past, has done a great job with his vision of capturing the cutesy love story.
Vishnu Rao, who is the cinematographer of this saga, captures the picturesque locations of Udaipur and Kolkata, but somehow fails while capturing the close up shots. However, he manages to capture the innocence of the two leads.
The first half of the film showcases three major songs- ‘Dhadak title track’, ‘Zingaat’ and ‘Pehli Baar’ were too much for me to handle. Still, the three melodies blend with the plot of the film.
‘Vaara Re’ which is played in the second half, is equally good.
You might not have liked ‘Zingaat’ but once the song is played on the screen you will surely groove to its beats.
Overall the music by Ajay-Atul is praiseworthy.
Ishaan Khatter’s natural on-screen act.
Janhvi Kapoor’s innocence.
Janhvi’s poor dialogue delivery in few scenes.
Placing of too many songs in the first half.
The slow pace in few scenes of the film.
Go and watch Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter’s labour of love with a fresh thought of not comparing the same with ‘Sairat’. They will surely leave you wanting for more.
Watch the trailer here:
'Soorma' Movie Review: Diljit Dosanjh as Flicker Singh hits the ball straight into the net
Directed By: Shaad Ali
Produced By: Sony Pictures Networks Productions, Chitrangda Singh, Deepak Singh
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Angad Bedi, Taapsee Pannu
Duration: 2h 11minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3 stars
Over the years, every Bollywood movie freak around the globe has been treated with loads of movies based on the life of great personalities. Even though only a selected few strike the chord into our minds and hearts. But at the end of the day, the responsibility of making it likeable for the audience, lies on the shoulder of a person who decides to don the hat and present the life of the popular persona on the silver screen.
So, when a person like Shaad Ali opted to bring forth the life of the legend of India Hockey, Sandeep Singh onto the celluloid, imagine what a task it must have been. With so many expectations from his fans across the world, Shaad opted for a risky genre and we here to tell you if this risk is worth your while or not.
Let’s decode together whether Ali and his entire gang, has done a fair play or a foul one.
‘Soorma‘, tells the heroic tale of a man who carved himself as flicker Singh in the Indian Hockey’s history and in the corner of every Indian’s heart. While we had heard that the sports drama will particularly shed light in Singh’s comeback, ‘Soorma’ has much more on the platter for you than just that.
Tracing Sandeep’s (Diljit Dosanjh) journey from his childhood, the movie starts by talking about the protagonist who swears by his passion of becoming a hockey player, but with not much scope to take it forward, he gets back to being a normal teenager only to later fall for a girl,Harpeeet Singh (Taapsee Pannu), who again happens to be a Hockey Player.
Moving on, we are introduced to the sudden uprising in Singh’s life, wherein he enters the Indian Hockey Team and that too for a reason. A reason that cannot be revealed. Thus the first half of the biopic sheds light on the making of Flicker Singh aka Sandeep Singh.
However, the next hour takes you on a ride depicting his struggles. The problems he had to face post the unfortunate incident which paralyzes half his body.
Up till now, I am sure you have understood that Ali’s product has indeed more to offer than what has been already spoken in the public.
Diljit Dosanjh as the legend Sandeep Singh is a treat to the sore eyes. The ease with each Dosanjh has dwelled into the skin of character, is commendable. From his amazing expressions to the amount of hard-work he has put in to get into the skin of the character, can be clearly seen through his performance. Taapsee Pannu who plays Dosanjh’s love interest, is the unsung hero of this drama, just as her character in Sandeep’s real life. Speaking of Angad, who essays the character of Sandeep’s elder brother; he too is an asset to the drama. The actor lends full support to Diljit. Not forgetting the coach, vijay raaz, who got Sandeep back in the game, is a cherry on the top.
Now moving to the man behind the drama..
Direction and Cinematography
Shaadi Ali, though loses our attention for a few seconds in between, soon manages to tighten our seat belts with a few light scenes, every now and then. The film basically gains pace after an odd 30 minutes into the cinema halls, as the first few portion of Sandeep childhood are slow and boring.
As compared to the first half, which focuses more on the legend’s personal life, it is the second half that promises more interesting content, that the audience might come to watch. Cinematography wise, Chirantan Das hits the ball right, while highlighting each scene aptly with his vision.
‘Ishq Di Bajiyaan’, the romantic track from this film, is soothing to one’s ears and can surely make it to your playlist of romantic songs. On the other hand, the ‘Soorma Anthem’ gives you a reason to look at your life more positively. Summing up, the music by musical trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy do not disappoint and goes well with the flow of the film.
If you are a true-blue patriot by heart just like our legend Sandeep Singh, do watch his heroic tale in the cinemas near you.
Watch the trailer here: