A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Review, now on DVD & Digital Download
Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (AGWHAAN) is getting all kinds of great buzz as a modern classic of the vampire film genre. It has played at all of the film festivals world wide, for the most part and most reaction has been very positive. But, is it worth all the buzz? Hmmmmm…
The film boasts an almost entire Iranian cast, crew and is considered one of the first feature films to come out of that country. I was wondering how a country like Iran would permit a film directed by a woman featuring nudity and such would get past the censors of Iran, but they bypassed all of that and shot the entire film in California in 2014. The film opened April 15, 2015 in this country simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix.
The movie stars Sheila Vand as The Girl who wanders aimlessly around Bad City preying of the people of that city. She is a vampire and sets her sights on those who are bad people but since it seems most of the people in this film are junkies, prostitutes, drug dealers, thieves and murderers, she has no shortage of people to feed on. She meets a young man name, Arash, who may not be perfect as a person, but he is mostly a good person who has watched his father become a junkie at the hands of the local crime boss, Saeed. It seems The Girl is torn between feeding on Arash or letting him live, while she picks off everyone else in town. In the end, you wonder why anyone would stay there for any reason.
AGWHAAN is not a good film, let me start by saying that. I did not like the film. The characters are not developed and the script Amirpour never seems to come together with a coherent theme. She has clearly watched a lot of David Lynch films and is heavily influenced by how he lights and directs his films. AGWHAN is a nice looking film and it has a noirish quality, but this is the prime example of style over substance. Everything and everyone looks good but they have nothing to do and nothing to say. They simply shuffle from scene to scene with no rhyme or reason. Since they are so underdeveloped and underwritten, I did not believe a single interaction between them. We are supposed to believe two people are falling for each other, but they hardly have any interaction together. In fact, none of these characters ever behave logically so after a while I began to wonder what the purpose of their existence was. They are merely filler for a lot of seemingly empty space. There was not a single character I liked, felt anything for or had any connection to.
I do think Ana Lily Amirpour has talent as a director, a writer and she shows promise. I mean she certainly knows where to put camera, frame shots and knows a thing or two about how she wants it lit. But she needs some help with getting a coherent script put to paper. Now, she is currently in pre-production for her next film, The Bad Batch. It is billed as a romantic, dark dystopian comedy set in a Texas desert about cannibals with Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey. Let’s hope for better results.
This film dialogue is spoken in Arabic and the film is rated R for nudity and brief violence. Run time is 101 minutes.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night- *1/2 out of 5