If you choose movies by the random combinations of words that describe them, you will be glad to hear about the first Iranian* vampire western. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) is that, and quite a lot more.
It is series of events in the Bad City, which is poor, ridden with crime and has no justice whatsoever. It’s a tale about chaotic goodness, and situations that makes the dreamers be rational. A love story with the “when boy meets a girl” narrative, but instead of a quarterback he is a gardener, and instead of dancing with pom-poms she feeds on human blood.
Also, it is a hearth-warming story about an unconventionaly fat stray cat, who, after series of unfortunate accidents, finaly finds a Forever home with lovers on a road trip.
But let’s start from the begining.
He is a boy coming from a broken home, with a junkie dad, who was seen before as a driver in “How I Met Your Mother”. Coincidentially, the boy does not meet his mother that often, because she (probably) died. Also, life in Iran is shit. Oh how shitty is it? It is “you buy a cool car and your Dad’s dealer takes it and also kinda threathens to kill your cat” type of shit. Some would stand up to it, and others could not. The boy is one of those who does not, so instead of confronting the dealer he hits the wall, hits the wall real hard. But Boy still wants the car back, so he plans to negotiate with the Dealer. Here is where he meets the Girl for the first time.
She is a dramatic young lady, who took upon herself to clean the Bad City from all the scum and villainny. Probably because she was bored and hungry – but who would say that this is not a legit motivation? Also, she is a watchful protector who helps women and scares little boys into not being cunts when they grow up. If, sadly, they are grown-up cunts, the Girl has a nice dinner, which is somewhat of a win-win situation. Sometimes before the meal, she seductively bites fingers off as a foreplay/starter. Because fuck you, cunts. And then she meets the Boy.
The first time they meet, she tries to sneak out of the Dealer’s house. Blood still warm on her face – but the story starts when they meet the second time. At that point, he tries to understand the meaning of a street lamp. Lamps are confusing in general, especially if you are on E and pretend to be Dracula.
And if you are easily confused by lamps, you are not the predatory cunt that the Girl hates so much.
I want to call her the Bat Girl, because in a way it is a superhero movie. She wears hijab to change her identity, and fashions her niquab (?not sure about the name though) as a badass cape. She kills with logic, and with fierce justice. I will go far enough and say that she represents generation of muslim women, who are pissed off because of the lifestyle that they must lead because of traditions, and are not afraid to express it, even if it is radical or tragic (as it was for the girl with a blue bra). Both Girls stand for making their own decisions – say, be able to safely go home alone at night.
Most girls can relate to that, because in general, most girls get many shitty habits growing up, especially if they want to go home alone at night. Sometimes it is carrying your keys in between your fingers as a makeshift weapon. Or counting the tiles on the sidewalk so you focused on the numbers and not that weird car in front of you. Or stealing a skateboard from a 5-year old so you could look cool riding into the darkness to kill the bad guys.
A couple of small elements aside (I am looking at you, poetic dances with a black baloon. Why are you here? You don’t mean stuff. Go away), the movie is a pleasure to watch.
It is witty, it is grim, it makes sense in it’s own universe. (Except from that ditch with dead bodies – and that is the only not logical thing in a movie about skateboarding superhero Iranian vampire).
It is bittersweet, with flawed heroes, who have just enough lines to not make the whole thing cheesy.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night connects the Wild West and the Eerie East though myths, midnights and music. Entertaining by default, relatable by choice.
* Made in California, but it’s cool, shut up.