A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a brilliant debut work by writer and director Ana Lily Amirpour, telling us how even the minimally experienced can turn out to be brilliant.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and made waves there as well as with future audiences, and rightfully so. Amirpour drew influence from a short film written and directed by her under the same title and that short even went on to win the award for the Best Short Film at the Noor Iranian Film Festival in 2012.
The story that A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night revolves around a young woman, played by Sheila Vand. Simply called ‘The Girl’ in the movie, the character is a twisted one, a lonely vampire lurking in the dark, hunting and preying on men who display a lack of respect toward women. Set in an imaginary Iranian town that goes by the name Bad City, the film unfolds in a slow and leisurely manner.
The plot further becomes interesting through the introduction of a young handsome lad, a role played by Arash Marandi, whose hard-earned ’57 convertible ride is taken away by Saeed’s (Dominic Rains) procurer, as collateral for the drugs sold to Arash’s father Hossein (Marshall Manesh), an aged drug addict. Arash is later entangled into a play of mistaken identity following death and bloodshed. As the plot unfolds, Saeed and Hossein are killed by ‘The Girl’ for their disrespectful treatment of women. Arash recovers his car and later meets the lonely vampire, while he is ironically dressed as the Dracula.
Amirpour utilizes expressions and gestures more than dialogues and weighs importance in bringing out the message through non verbal means. In almost all scenes of the film, Amirpour gets her audience to concentrate on her characters intensely. The film is mostly a series of tableaux and this lends it a different hue.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night gives off the perfect amount of eeriness, suspense and emotion and Amirpour uses ancient as well as modern elements in her film well. The film’s black and white cinematography is the perfect touch to Amirpour’s concept of a town stalked by a revengeful vampire. The Iranian-American writer and director envelopes the perfect blend of novelty and conventional elements in her debut direction.
This movie is the multi-production film made by Elijah Wood, Reza Sixo Safai, Ben Conrad, Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Daniel Grove, Alexei Tylevich, Nicholas Moceri and Patrick Grove, and while Amirpour has included a talented cast to play each character, the movie can easily be termed a successful debut.
Having played out well with her first shot at a feature film, Amirpour is all set with her next feature film, The Bad Batch, starring Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey and Diego Luna. Going by her undoubtedly successful debut film, the brilliant cast of The Bad Batch is likely to have great expectations of this blossoming director.
And since we all know how the talented only get better in the film world, so here’s hoping that Ana Lily Amirpour repeats the success of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night with her new venture too.