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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A delightful Varun Dhawan with a predictable storyline, makes 'October' an OK affair

A delightful Varun Dhawan with a predictable storyline, makes 'October' an OK affair

Directed By: Soojit Sircar
Produced By: Ronnie Lahiri, Sheel Kumar
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu
115 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating:

Varun Dhawan is without a doubt one of the most sought-after actors of Bollywood today. The young actor has been giving frequent hits and proving his mettle in the industry, but it sure was high time that he stepped out of his comfort zone and tried his hands on something different. So for everyone who was tired of seeing Varun in masala potboilers, the actor did listen to us and how. His recent release ‘October’, directed by the impeccable talented Soojit Sircar sees Varun in a totally different avatar.

Living as a hotel intern, Dan (Varun Dhawan) is all about enjoying his life with his friends and living carefree. It is only when one of his colleagues Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) faces an accident and ends up in a hospital, which changes Dan’s life forever. The story unfolds as the careless Dan embarks on an emotional journey. He starts finding love in the strangest the places and the strangest of ways.

If you too thought of Varun’s forte lying in potboilers and comedy flicks, this movie is made to prove you wrong. The actor deserves an applause for Not only taking a risk of playing a role this complex but also for executing it’s so flawlessly. Dan is innocent and a brat at the same time. He will make you fall in love with him, and you will feel what he feels until the very last scene. Banita, on the other hand, is a revelation. She can go places if given the right path. The rest of the cast, especially Shiuli’s mother, Professor Vidya Iyer (Gitanjali) are fabulous playing their parts.

Shoojit handles the sensitivity of the plot brilliantly, it is however his direction which is not up to mark. The movie starts off nice but gradually gets into the boring zone. The parts shot in the hotel are sure to keep you hooked. However the hospital sections soon start to doze you off. Even after being a mere 1hr 56minute long, the movie seems to take a lifetime to end. The storyline is predictable and leaves no scope for suspense or surprise. The climax however is engaging and gets you thinking even after you exit the movie halls.

The camera work by Avik Mukhopadhyay is top notch, while the wound track goes well with the flow of the plot.

Overall,’October’ is about passion and love and is meant for the ones who do not believe in giving up easy. The film however lacks the Entertainment quotient and becomes tedious in the middle. Watch it for the performances.

Missing movie review: An unconvincing tale led by Tabu’s brilliant performance

Missing movie review: An unconvincing tale led by Tabu’s brilliant performance
Image Source - Instagram

Directed By: Mukul Abhyankar
Produced By: Shital Bhatia, Shabana Raza Bajpayee, Vikram Malhotra, Shri Adhikari Brothers, Anand Pandit, Roopa Pandit
Cast: Tabu, Manoj Bajpayee, Annu Kapoor
Duration: 2 hours
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2/5

Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu, two of the greatest performers we have in the industry. Both of them are known for being a part of good cinema, and when these two are starring in a film we would surely expect the movie to be fantastic. Well, Manoj and Tabu have come together after a gap of 18 years on the big screen with ‘Missing’ which hits the screens on April 6, 2018.

‘Missing’ is about Sushant (Manoj), Aparna (Tabu) and Titli (Aparna’s 3-year-old daughter). They come to Mauritius via cruise, check into a hotel late night, and next morning Titli goes missing. And then starts the hunt for Titli and during this whole searching scenario, twists and turns take place.

First all of let me tell you that ‘Missing’ has a very good concept. It had a potential to be a very good suspense thriller, it had the potential to make you sit back and think that what would happen next, and it surely had the potential to be nail-biting. But, writer-director Mukul Abhyankar, unfortunately couldn’t deliver a good suspense-thriller here. I am not saying that there are no good twists and turns, but the way they appear on the screen they don’t look convincing to make us believe. The sequences that should have been the highlight look too dull here.

Another thing that doesn’t really impress us is that the movie is based in Mauritius, but from receptionists in the hotel to manager to the police officers everyone there is Indian, even the people staying in the hotel are Indians. UFF!

The biggest disappointments of the movie are, Manoj Bajpayee and Annu Kapoor. The former in the first half is not at all good. However, he manages to impress us in the second half. Talking about Annu Kapoor, he is a very senior actor, but his portrayal of police officer starts irritating us a bit after a point. I can’t blame the senior actor much for that as his character itself is not convincingly written.

The movie is saved by Tabu. The supremely talented actress does justice to her character and holds us throughout the film. What a brilliant performance!

Overall, ‘Missing’ is an unconvincing tale that leaves you with a lot of questions. Annu Kapoor mouths a dialogue again and again in the film, ‘Something is wrong’, and that’s what you will feel while watching the film.

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