Movie Review - A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

This film feels like Let the Right One In but only if the protagonists were adults and Iranian. The problem is that unlike Let the Right One In, this movie feels disconnected from the world, not just the real world but any world. Something simple as seeing the characters at a hospital in Let the Right One In helped tremendously. This film by Ana Lily Amirpour doesn't do that. It's hyper-insulated. Aside from the protagonists and supporting characters, this film might as well be occurring on a deserted island or at least a desert town in the American west. Yet, there are echoes of Iranian culture that reverberate here. Echoes of the patriarchal and borderline misogynistic culture reverberate, and perhaps the best way to make those echoes is by being so disconnected, but the scant dialogue and lack of world-building or world-connecting had me shrugging my shoulders and not caring about anything in this narrative.

It's not enough that Amirpour doesn't make her character likeable. She doesn't make them interesting. At least, Jim Jarmusch's recent Only Lovers Left Alive had interesting and likeable vampires. Arguably, Amirpour wanted her story to be creepier and scarier. Yet, a large chunk of this film is devoted to a love story, so if we are to buy into that, we need to buy into the characters and root for the coupling or feel like their courtship makes sense. I never felt that here.

The film was either shot or converted to black-and-white. There are certain things that feel like it's taking place in the 1950's. At one point, a character uses a cassette tape, a relic of the 90's, so the character might be of the now and using a cassette tape might be the movie being ironic or kitschy, but it just further confuses as to what the actual time and setting of this movie is.

For a movie titled what it is, it's less about the so-called girl, played by Sheila Vand. It's more about a boy named Arash, played by Arash Marandi. Instead of learning anything about this girl, the movie is really all about the boy. This would have been fine, if the boy wasn't a dull cliche, a young man trying to be Marlon Brando, something so many young boys have tried to be. It was lame.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 mins.

For limited screening dates and places, go to
It's playing until Jan. 22 in DC at the Angelika Pop Up at Union Market.
It opens on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia at the Landmark Ritz Bourse.


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