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‘Indigo Valley’ review: Three’s a crowd in tense character driven drama

Keep on lovin’ you.

Indigo Valley has a similar set up to Bleed With Me, a film recently covered by AIPT for the Fantasia Film Festival. Both movies see a couple head out to the wilderness for a romantic trip. In each film, a third party comes along. In this case, the fifth wheel is an estranged sister. There is also a different type of tension in the film of jealousy, lies, and misdirection.

Jaclyn Bethany directs and stars as Isabella. Isabella is a former child actress who has just been released from rehab. She decides to travel to the desert to meet up with her newly married sister Louise (Rosie Day) and her husband John (Brandon Skelnar) who are spending their honeymoon there. Isabella has brought along many demons with her well wishes, however.

Indigo Valley is a character driven story. Many times, this means it is up to the cast to carry the movie. If the audience do not get a sense of the drama or tension, then the film will fail. Fortunately, the characters are very well developed. Bethany and Day do an excellent job of conveying the tension between the two sisters. Early on, it is played up with subtle glances and comments. Indigo Valley does not just begin with a volatile relationship; it eases into it.

'Indigo Valley' review: Three's a crowd in tense character driven drama

The story is well paced and strongly written. Calling it a slow burn would not be entirely accurate. Along with great characters, there are constant revelations. It is definitely not action packed, but the twisting story will keep audiences riveted. That being said, though Indigo Valley is relatively short, it sometimes gets in its own way. Some dialogue is clunky and scenes do not flow as smoothly as they should.

Thanks to a strong soundtrack, these minor missteps never ruin the movie’s enjoyment. The songs enhance the mood of each moment. Even when Indigo Valley strays, the great music prevents it from getting lost. Writing, directing, and starring in a movie is a large burden to take on. Jaclyn Bethany manages to do handle all three roles with Indigo Valley. Those looking for a strong narrative with well rounded characters will enjoy this film.

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