Review: INTO THE VALLI

The only way to properly write a review of Into the Valli is to listen to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and observe how it’s really done.

Watching Pat Bradley’s Into the Valli made me feel like there was nothing good left in the world. The film centers around terrible pub performer Chris Parella and his crazy infatuation with Frankie Valli. His obsession only continues to grow, hoping to place first in a pub competition and be like Frankie Valli himself.

Chris’ friends and family distance themselves from him instead of confronting his obsession. It’s odd that no one laughed when Chris tried and failed to sing in competitions. Being laughed off the stage might have actually stopped him from competing, which is what they wanted. Why did no one in his life dissuade him from competing and wearing ridiculous outfits? No one in Chris’ life seems to care enough to tell him these things, and that’s important. Chris feels alone –– because he is. 

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One thing the film does well is tackle some important and serious topics throughout the story. It displays compulsion and mental illness through Chris’ obsessive writing in a notebook, while planning and planning his next move (however, I did imagine he would have an entire room dedicated to writing his plans out, plastering the walls in ideas and plots).

What bothered me about Into the Valli was that there was some poor acting in this film, though one could argue that a lot of the characters weren’t necessarily written as well as they could have been. There were many stories told throughout the film that needed more backstory, and I think the film may have carried better and been slightly more powerful. A lot of scenes were distracting to the story, like watching Chris as a child dealing with his messy parents. I, unfortunately, was a bit too busy thinking about how creepy the child was during that scene.

And while it is true teenagers do have a hard time dealing with hormones, the way the parents handled situations was not entirely realistic. If parents found their child with heroin, it might be safe to assume most wouldn’t just pass it over to the other parent to deal with. I was so angry with her mother (a nurse, nonetheless) who had access to resources and didn’t even use them. Even if she couldn’t afford rehab for her daughter, she should at least have friends in her profession who could help.

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Overall, I was pretty disappointed by this Into the Valli. I expected so much more from the story, and I truly didn’t want Chris’ one goal to be the winner of a stupid pub karaoke competition. I at least wanted him to dream bigger –– at least fight for a Grammy or something. For such an over-the-top story, it seemed absurd that his dreams were so miniscule.

I wanted to like this film, I really did. But as it turned out, I couldn’t find much to write about it because it really just made me too depressed. I wanted the deaths to be more realistic, I wanted mothers to care more about daughters. I wanted people to realize Chris was a terrible and toxic person and run away from him as fast as they could, but yet no one did.

Into the Valli was a bit like a bad dream that I wish I didn’t remember.