After the Interval: A collaboration review of ‘In The Valley of Elah’

Once upon a time, long, long ago, so long ago, I forgot how long ago, a smart and respected blogger called Raistlin was reached out to a collaboration by a girl who was to lazy to blog.
Even though he kindly agreed and kept postponing the deadline, this one girl never got back to him with her finished work…
And now, after ages she’s here.

Yes, you guessed right. That girl is me.
And this is that post.

*Spoilers in this reviews*
Basically, our idea was to pick a movie and watch half of it each and try to guess what happens/ed in the other half.
Later. we look through each other’s posts and see whether we guessed right or not.

After much contemplation (haha, no) , we decided on “In the Valley of Elah”.


I was so confused, this took me two hours to watch. I couldn’t figure which character was which for quite sometime. As soon as I got used to that, I started to enjoy the movie.

The second half starts with Hank (Tommy Lee Jones) trying to read David a bedtime story. I’m guessing David is Emily’s son. (Emily- Charlize Theron) Is he?
Image result for in the valley of elah movie
I also feel that there is some important significance behind that David-Goliath story, but I have no idea.

After meeting the bar woman, Hank suspects that there is more to the death of his son than the cause given (which is what, I have no idea)
Further investigation shows that, yes, the soldiers had been lying to hide that Hank’s son took drugs and was messed up in several ways. When asked why, one of them replies saying,” I wouldn’t my parents to know if I died.”

After this they suspect that one of the soldiers was involved in the case and try to arrest him. During the sequence, some very nice background music and realistic chasing is utilised.
Hank is the one to catch him and he proceeds to hit him continuously and even injures Emily in the process.
Image result for in the valley of elah movie
Both Hank and the soldier are put in handcuffs and taken to the station, only to have the latter released due to lack of evidence and the threat of filing a case.

Related image

Later they find that one of the soldiers(Bonner) committed suicide and had Mike’s / Hank’s son’s watch in his pocket. They decide that it is as good as a confession, but Hank feels that the act doesn’t make any sense. He asks Emily why he would kill Mike and how he would have done it when he has an alias, to which Emily has no answer.
Later another young woman (who I don’t know ) is also found dead (suicide again) the sight of whom cause Emily to break down.
Image result for in the valley of elah movie

Hank finds out from the soldier who lied that he too doesn’t believe Bonner killed Mike. He apologises to Hank about his son, and after some small talk seems to break down and shed a few tears.
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The next scene shows Hank watching a low quality clip of an injured guy being taken to the hospital by his son and his crew who ask him to calm down and that they’ll help him, but their faces show something very different. They are smiling creepily and shown to torture him.

Then we find out that Mike was never present at the meal(don’t even. I don’t know what’s going on) in the first place but it was Penning, Long and Bonner who were there and Penning forged Mike’s signature.
After a long sequence of events(which I only half got and so shall spare you the confusion), Pennings confesses that he committed the murder of Mike and Bonner chopped him up.
He confesses this in a monotone, freaking Emily out.
There was no particular reason it happened, just the war strayed nerves that led them to kill Mike.

Later Hank finds out that his son had a sadistic side due to an incident that took place. Mike was driving when a young child came out in front of his vehicle and the crew fearing an ambush, he was instructed not to stop.  The child – the crumpled mass in the picture Hank shows in the middle– was killed…but there was no ambush.

He tries his best to cope with the heavy loss and lives his life. We also see that the significance of David story, Hank was told it as a kid.
The movie ends with Frank hoisting an American flag that his son sent him.

As far as movies go, this one was sufficiently engaging and active. All the actors did a great job in portraying their characters and displaying their emotions.
The screenplay was absolutely amazing as well.
My rating- 4.5/5


Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what happened from what took place. Hank, a retired military man’s son goes missing after a war. So they try to look for him and end up finding his dead, mutilated body instead and set out to figure out who killed him and why.

That’s it from me! If you haven’t checked out the other part of this collaboration, please check it out here.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to express your views on anything that caught your eye.
Raistlin san, thank you for the collaboration, it was very fun, even though I delayed it quite a bit, ahem…
Hope to do more collaborations soon, they’re one of my favourite parts of blogging:)

11 thoughts on “After the Interval: A collaboration review of ‘In The Valley of Elah’

  1. What a fun and cool idea. Sometimes I randomly go to the living room and watch a few scenes of the movie my brother is watching. I have no idea what happened in the beginning but it’s sometimes easy to catch onto the plot. Other times it’s really confusing! The difference here is that you can’t ask the other person a load of questions like “who is this,” “who is THAT?” – The challenge makes the blog post idea fun to participate in, but also fun for the rest of us to read. ^^ Great post~

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!
      Haha, that’s me when my mom’s watching movies. Before she used to shoo me away since I was too young for some of them, but now I just pop in and be like, “What’s that?”
      Good to know that you liked it!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A great idea and collaboration post Auri from both great bloggers..I enjoyed reading both halves of the story (spoilers and all) and it certainly was an enjoyable read. Such a heart breaking story and I was also fearing the worst with each line in had read. Great storytelling and post. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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