A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]
Arash (Arash Marandi) lives in the dead-end of Bad City, a town full of drug addicts – like his father (Marshall Manesh). But his live changes when he meets the Girl (Sheila Vand), a vampire using Bad City as her hunting ground. Slowly Arash and the Girl get closer to each other.
I really wanted to like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I mean, an Iranian vampire western (which is how the film is introduced despite being shot in the USA by a British director)? How fucking awesome is that?! But unfortunately the film choked on its own coolness*. And it’s not even a proper vampire film.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: if you’re doing a monster film, work with the monster. It stands for something. It wouldn’t have made a lick of difference if the Girl was a vampire or an axe murderer. That’s not how you make a vampire film. Though that was far from my only or even biggest complaint.
No, my biggest complaints are certainly (1) that this movie was completely full of itself. Yes, the soundtrack was good, there is no doubt about it. But it was so ostentatiously presented that I really couldn’t enjoy it anymore. And (2) that it felt like it was made by a teenager. A male teenager at that – which is not something I look for in general and particularly not when I watch a film by a female director (who I’m pretty sure is not a teen anymore). Unfortunately that’s what I got: a film with a manic
pixie vampire dream girl. Ugh.
The movie does have its strengths. I like the idea. The visuals were great. Drug dealer Saeed (Dominic Rains) was a perfect character with the perfect actor to play him. [SPOILERS] Unfortunately, when he dies, the film dies with him. [/SPOILERS] It loses the little charm it had and starts to drag. And from that point on it feels like its about 16 hours long instead of not even 2.
I think it’s save to say that the film didn’t work for me. I’d even say it was the biggest disappointment of this year’s Viennale for me. I just really like to have some substance with my style. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night unfortunately has none of it.
Summarizing: Way too cool for its own sake.
*If you allow me this moment of bitchiness: it is a brand of coolness that is bound to be gobbled up by the more hipster inclined folk.