Cert: 18 Runtime: 118 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Mamoa, Jayda Fink, Keanu Reeves, Diego Luna, Giovanni Ribisi and Jim Carrey
To life… life is The Dream. The only Dream. Cost lot to be here. Cost you an arm and a leg.
Ana Lily Amirpour won a fan with A Girl Walk Home Alone at Night in 2015, a real breath of fresh air t cinema. The Bad Batch is her latest film it has received mixed review, along with a Special Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival 2016. The Bad Batch has provided Amirpour with a stellar cast and a dystopian universe on top of that had me game. So what is The Bad Batch about? Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is abandoned in a Texas wasteland that is fenced off from civilization. While trying to navigate the unforgiving landscape, Arlen is captured by a savage band of cannibals led by the mysterious Miami Man (Jason Mamoa). With her life on the line, she makes her way to The Dream (Keanu Reeves). As she adjusts to life in the bad batch, Arlen discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who’s standing next to you.
The Bad Batch is an examination of the nature of morality and moral choices. There’s a scene where you will askyourself whether the act you have just seen was justified, indefensible, or some indescribable mixture of the two, even as you watch Suki Waterhouse ask herself the same question — what have I just done, and was it good or bad? The pace is measured, even contemplative, and the camera lingers on the actors’ faces. It is, above all, tremendously thought-provoking. The movie defies another convention: it never bothers to explain what seem to be unlikely elements of the portrayed world. However, Amirpour says she did extensive world-building and even devised complete back stories for every character. Her strategy is to keep viewers as uninformed as the characters themselves. The Bad Batch is an exemplary addition to the small but growing group of art-house science fiction films. It more than fulfils the promise of Amirpour’s art-house debut.
Cert: 15 Runtime: 101 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marno, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo and Reza Sixo Safai
Till the end of your life, I’ll be watching you
The topic of vampires has been apart of my pop cultural life since I can remember. From watching Dracula, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Blade, Dark Shadows…you get my drift. When Twilight hit the screens it seemed vampires were becoming a bit of a joke. But as of late a few independent films have rectified the genre. Let The Right One In is by far the best of the 21st century, it’s on a very high pedestal for me. But What We Do in the Shadows, Only Lovers Left Alive, Thirst and now A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night! I have been disgusted with myself for not hearing about this until the last few weeks. What is it all about you ask? Residents of a worn-down Iranian city encounter a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who preys on men who disrespect women.A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night is one of the best films I have seen this year! We haven’t witnessed that many this year but Ana Lily Amirpour thank you. What makes this a great film is Sheila Vand, the use of her eyes and her gaze alone is just mesmeric and haunting. For me she reminds me of an older version of Eli form Let The Right One In. She looks sweet, innocent and naive but her dark side is just horrifying. The girl is one the better vampire characters in recent times. It’s also great to see a strong female presence on screen.
It’s a slow paced film, but there is never a dull moment. Every shot is significant and it’s well balanced. The horror element is a only the one aspect of it. It’s also a romantic drama between the girl and Arash they are very different people, but trapped they are both in the same vicious circle of isolation and hopelessness. The whole cast makes a wonderful work in their roles. The screenplay takes advantage of the classic tale along with giving it a fresh and trendy vibe. The soundtrack is just beautiful, every song really lives well within the film. It’s a great statement to show the liberal side of Iranian women through out. The beautiful black-and-white cinematography brings every scene to life, with precise frames which make even the most filthy alley or prosaic building look like a work of art. Personally I have no quarrels with Ana Lily’s work, I just hope there is no Americanization of this work of art. This is not a massive horror film by any means. But it’s a fantastic vampire film, this genre is gaining momentum yet again.A Girl Who Walk Home Alone at Night is at the helm with the other 21st Century greats.