November 24, 2014

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Ana Lily Amirpour
Country: USA

Movie Review: A solitary woman walking alone and freely on the streets of Iran would be very unlikely and dangerous. However, Ana Lily Amirpour makes it possible in Bad City, a fictional ghost town where a mysterious woman (Sheila Vand) silently stalks people to violently suck the blood from their necks. In a completely different context, Arash (Arash Marandi), struggles with the debts incurred by his inactive, drug-addicted father (Marshall Manesh), being forced to pay a clownish local smuggler with his own precious car. Arash and the vampire-woman will meet in hilarious circumstances – she was wandering at night on a skateboard on her way home, while Arash, coming from a party, was lost and under the effect of drugs, dressed as Dracula, and staring at a street lamp. Not particularly scary, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” is tagged as the first Iranian vampire Western, and lives from its suggestive black-and-white visuals, rigor in terms of plot and its coincidences, and great humor. It also worked fine as an (almost) impossible romance, taking advantage of an inviting international/local soundtrack and committed performances. The only aspect that Amirpour could do better has to do with the choice of constantly changing the camera’s depth of field, where the consecutive focus/unfocus shots became a bit repetitive after a while. Despite we’ve never been told how and why this woman became a vampire, the truth is that when the credits began to roll on the screen, I wanted to see more. Expressive visuals integrate a contemporary uncommon Iranian tale that takes vampires into a completely new level.

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