A greatest Asian love story, an unforgettable tale about passion, death and reincarnation. A mesmerizing Himalayan epic that spans two centuries, from the Silk Route of the early 19th century to the bustling metropolis of modern-day Tokyo.
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Along the highest mountain passes of the Himalayas, tough, intrepid Jalan (Milind Soman) and his gang earn their living by stealing from unsuspecting travelers. Abiding by their own, unique codes of honor and dividing the spoils equally, all is routine until the arrival of the mystifying, beautiful Ushna (Mylene Jampanoi). Appearing mysteriously after the raid of a pilgrim caravan, Ushna adheres to Jalan, claiming to have seen him in her dreams, and refusing to leave his side. Sensing the unease of the rest of the men, Ushna offers to help them in their endeavors, under condition that they not ask why or how she is able to guide them to success. In the time that follows, Ushna leads the gang to tremendous exploits, gaining the respect of the men, and the admiration of Jalan, who begins to fall passionately in love with this mysterious woman. As their success increases, seemingly unstoppable, so the love between Jalan and Ushna mounts in intensity, until they seem to have entered a ... Written by
Valley of Flowers got me all excited, as it was the very first public screening in Delhi's packed Siri Fort Audi where audience was spilling all over the floor... Spectators were made of all races, many from abroad to participate in Cinefan. Among them India's who's-who; film stars, ministers, ambassadors, business tycoons, designers, software giants, painters, musicians, writers and loads of young people.
Film did get mixed reactions, however I did not allow myself to be influenced by other's opinion. Something strong certainly happened to me when the lights came on as if I was coming out of hypnosis. I even forgot to give a round of applause.
The film surely has something and I haven't figured out what? At 155 minutes, it is long, has certain problems, badly subtitled and weak in parts. But I am astonished at the story, characters and cinematic style. Pan Nalin with his second feature (after Samsara) makes a very bold step in unexplored territories and comes out strong as a scriptwriter with guts, a director with exceptional talent and a filmmaker to watch out for. Just for all those reasons I have generously given 10 out of 10.
Film's plot is both, complex and simple. It might not be for everyone but it's truly worth the viewing. Rarely a theme of love, longing and immortality has been so well depicted before. Valley is a hymn to harmony in nature, balance among demons and humans, good and evil, life and death, black and white. It is a poetic telling of reincarnation and karma.
Valley is a magnificent house, filmmaker invites us inside with warm Asian hospitality but does not give us keys to all the doors. Now for some that will be a negative thing and for others it would be positive. Because Pan Nalin allows audience to interact with this epic love story in honest manner.
There are breathtaking moments in Valley like appearance of Ushna, levitated lovemaking, valley of silence, time-walk and final climax in Japan. Cinematography is superb and the casting is near perfect. Himalayan landscapes are awesome. Towards the end the entire resolution of the saga happens in modern-day Tokyo and that is destructive and divine like most Asian myths. Pan Nalin's regard on Tokyo and Japan is very sensitive and subtle.
Watching Valley is truly a cinematic experience of unforgettable kind I highly recommend to those who love traveling beyond mainstream
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