A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

To say I was hyped to see this film was an understatement. I knew literally nothing about it, which excites me.

Turns out, A Girl Walks Home (directed by Ana Lily Amirpour) is about a 'Bad City' Iranian vampire and her James Dean wannabe admirer. There is no story line aside from boy is unhappy living at home with his heroin addict father; boy meets girl; boy falls in love with girl; boy whisks girl away to live happily ever after. With added neck biting/blood sucking details. 'Bad City' is meant as a nod to Frank Miller's Sin City - in reality there's no comparison and even mentioning the two in the same sentence is a bit of an insult to the latter.

It's an immensely frustrating film. It's meant to be eerie and edgy, heck, The Guardian even calls it "exhilarating vampire girl power". Stalking people around the streets of a disheveled ghost town and freaking them out is neither 'exhilarating' nor a justifiable example of 'girl power' - come to think of it, she's not a very memorable example of a vampire, either.

Moreover, it's in black and white. For no apparent reason. However, Vice Films' involvement in the production is enough to tell you that every aspect of film has been thought out to the highest degree of abstract pretentiousness and 'this will make a popular giff one day' ambition. The lead character, Arash, is a blatant homage to James Dean: from the quiff to the cigarettes, the plain white tee and black leather jacket combo to the aviator sunglasses and fancy car. Totally irrelevant to the story, laughably superfluous.

At least half an hour could have been cut out if the abundance of pointless landscape shots, thrown in just to fill a bit of time in and fill the void left by the absence of atmosphere, were left out or feature in the background somehow. I can honestly say I've never seen such a pitiful attempt to be 'a bit different' by doing and achieving absolutely nothing. The only seriously relevant landscape shot is of an open pit filled with ignored dead bodies, a hint to the authority's mistreatment of the no-man's-land, detached city.

What irritated me the most, however, is that there are some tremendously stunning shots and camerawork throughout that deserve to be in a much more appropriate film with a coherent narrative and believable acting. The best actor is the fucking cat. That, and The Girl/crazy vampire/whatever you want to call her wears Keds and Breton striped tops and unashamedly listens to Lionel Richie alone on vinyl in her room.

Popular Posts