Friday, January 15, 2016

"A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" (2014)

You would think that an original idea and great cinematography would make a great film. “Girl Walks Home” has both in spades. The idea of a female vampire in an Islamic culture has a lot of potential for commentary and message. Make the town the most corrupt, strange oil town in Iran with drugs and corruption run rampant and you have all sorts of comeuppance just waiting to be passed around.

And the shots here are really well done. There are beautiful shots where you wouldn’t expect them. A plate of fried eggs never looked so photogenic. And there are situations where expectations are subverted, like when the vampire taunts and imitates an old man on the street. That is the sort of thing you expect violent men to do to lone women on dark, lonely streets.

But then there are also moments where this film thinks it is so artistic and only comes across as silly pretention. The lady (?) dancing with the balloon, for example. What is up with that? So much of this film lingers, and lingers. In the right hands that could be ominous, but here it just feels like lethargy. The editing could certainly be tightened up a lot. And the story concept, for all its originality, still comes up short. They had a good idea, but didn’t have a fully developed story.

This is an interesting bit of art for those who like the genre or the concept, but it isn’t a great film.

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