This movie is one of the most underrated masterclass of 2016.
And I say this as an understatement!!
This movie is intermittently creepy and funny and is seductive enough to be remembered later as a feverish dream.
Filmed in the desert in California, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” introduces us to a lot of interconnected cast of characters who all live in Bad City, an Iranian town filled with bad bad vibes.
Shot in black and white, the movie immediately arrests the viewer and pulls them into its dreamscape. We are already 20 minutes into the movie when we realise that this is a vampire movie (unless you knew the plot before!). But before you dismiss this review as “just another vampire flick”, hear me say that it is fresh take on the vampire ethos.
The Vampire, never given the name throughout the whole movie played by Sheila Vand, is an apparition shrouded in a black Chador, skateboarding along the streets of Bad city. Lonesome, she wears a veil which makes her look like she’s floating and she has an air of elegance.
Her path crosses that of a young boy Arash (played by Arash Marandi), a moody character who owns a fantastic expensive car. Arash falls in love with the vampire and there is a scene in the movie, a weirdly intimate scene, in which the vampire allows Arash to pierce her ears when he makes a present of earrings to her.
The movie’s brilliance lies in the ambiguity of its central character, the vampire, we never get to know her true personality. She looks and feels like the prey but is actually the predator. She is not plagued by the question of living forever, rather she knows what she wants and in her own moody way she gets it done.
Director Ana Lily Amirpour has done amazing work with the cameras and the music which I feel is one of the most significant part of this movie taking heavy influences from 90s grunge and popular Iranian pop. Amirpour also has a knack of basing the scene on the music playing and the results are fantastic.