"A beautiful picture-book, but a vacuous motion picture."
When a movie is directed by a former photographer, especially from “National Geographic,” you expect the movie to look visually arresting.Eric Valli does just that in his first feature movie, “Himalaya,” a pleasant, if not slightly dull tale about two groups of caravan-ers — one young, one old — trying to bring their salt-packing yaks to trade for food during the winter season. The simple screenplay (written by four people) leaves a bit of a light-headed residuum (possibly from the altitude?) and somnolent ambivalence to the movie. The characters often prove to be quite amusing and nicely performed (particularly the adorable Karma Wangel) and the music by Bruno Coulais, and the picture-book cinematography by Eric Guichard and Jean-Paul Meurisse are all quite textured, but the movie warrants an awful-lot of fidgeting and bustling. Or as the young child says, “We keep walking, but never arrive.” Believe me, your derrieres will feel it. However, the unsuspecting humor serves to lighten the mood, and the colors and shadows are effectively utilized. With Thilen Lhondup, Gurgon Kyap and Lhakpa Tsamchoe.