It wasn’t a surprise to see a story with so many layers. Paul Haggis did that in Crash, he has done it again. Only this time the story isn’t in deferred parallel. It is as linear as it can be.
I didn’t choose to see the movie for Paul Haggis, but for three other reasons. Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon. How can you miss a movie like that? You hardly get a film when the entire star-cast is one that you like. There has to be a Johnny Depp or a Tom Cruise somewhere. A John Abraham or an Aishwarya Rai. That ruins the movie, even if the other star-cast is just fine.
In the Valley of Elah is a good film. I refrain from any superlatives for a reason. The greatness of something has to be discovered in your own and personal manner. No one can tell you what is great. Also the film is not about the Iraq war. Although, you are easily pardoned if you think so. Also the film is not about the United States. Although, you are easily pardoned if you think so. It is a presentation of a world horribly gone wrong. And you get to see the wrong-ness of it all from many eyes, at different times, in different ways. Sometimes you see how the wrong things aren’t wrong, and you see how wrong that is. And then you get to see it with your eyes. Only, of course, if you close your eyes.
Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon excel in the movie. (Even if someone disagrees with me). The cinematography is excellent, doesn’t take the attention away from the story. No complicated camera work, desaturated just enough with proper play of light and shadow. The very very small moments in the movie are the ones that hold the story together. The very very small moments in the movie are the ones that are easily missed.
This is what I like about film-making.