Review: ‘The Valley’ takes on depression with powerful storytelling

March 30, 2018

By Shahjahan Khurram

If you’re tired of watching Bollywood flicks with the same action sequences that are far from reality or item songs without any purpose, The Valley is the film for you. The film sheds light on the serious topic of depression and how it tends to drive individuals to the extreme if left untreated.

Saila Kariat debuts as director with The Valley and kudos to her for doing a marvelous job. The film contains powerful dialogues, interesting characters who weave the plot expertly and a climax worth the wait.

Neal Kumar (Aly Khan) is the successful CEO of Facenote–a social networking service company much similar to Facebook. From his own dialogues (much later in the film) the viewer knows that Neal comes from humble beginnings. Neal has a beautiful house in Silicon Valley and a family that consists of two daughters and his wife. Things start to go downhill after his younger daughter Maya (Agneeta Thacker) commits suicide.

Consumed by endless grief, Neal fishes around for the truth–why drove Maya to commit suicide all of a sudden? His search takes him to Maya’s college where he ends up quizzing everyone associated with his dead daughter in one way or another–her college crush, roommate, Physics professor and close friend Alicia.

Saila Kariat does a wonderful job of drawing parallels between the actors of the movie and the common man. The Valley is relatable to the common man and highlights the periods of highs and lows we all go through in life.

The movie focuses on how we humans tend to engulf ourselves with grief by substituting human connection with a materialistic lifestyle. What makes it such an enjoyable movie to watch is the fact that there are no heroes or villains here–only a distraught father who has an epiphany and tries to salvage what’s left of his family in the end.

Aly Khan and Suchitra Pillai expertly portray distraught parents who deal with a tragedy that slowly drifts them apart as time progresses.

There’s a lesson to take home from The Valley. If you’re in the mood to watch a movie that features a stellar plot and an issue that needs to be discussed more often–then The Valley is the flick for you.

4/5 stars 

Random observations

  • Sameena Peerzada is hardly convincing in her role as the housekeeper
  • The references to social media sites with different names makes one cringe (Facenote and JobbedIn)
  • The characters who reveal Maya’s campus life could have had more depth to them (Alicia, Chris and the Physics professor)