Film Review: The Night
By Lauren Bray
Wow. This movie has kept us up at night still thinking about what happened and what it all means, not to mention we're keeping all the lights on. The psychological thriller is full of suspense and is guaranteed to make you jump.
The Night follows an Iranian couple and their one-year-old daughter living in the Los Angeles area. It starts with a casual gathering at a friend's house where they celebrate the arrival of Neda (Niousha Jafarian) who recently left Iran to reunite with her husband Babak (Shahab Hosseini) in the U.S. It's shot mostly in Farsi with captions but switches to English when the couple engages with American characters.
Immediately you can tell there's a lot of tension between Neda and Babak as they squabble in the car about him drinking too much and getting lost in their new city. After hours of driving around, they settle on staying one night at the Hotel Normandie. The real-life historic hotel located in Koreatown was built in 1926 and is still decorated to the theme or roaring 20's giving it a pretty spooky vibe on its own.
As the night goes on, weird things keep happening with other people inside the hotel and between the couple. It masterfully weaves in the secrets of Neda and Babak where supernatural elements force them to confront their truth or be trapped forever.
Hosseini, a popular Iranian actor who has won the Cannes Best Actor award, delivers a powerful and gripping performance that allows the audience to follow him through intense circumstances. Jafarian provides an equally powerful performance as a mother protecting her child and herself.
An encore screening of the film has been added and it can be viewed on Saturday, January 25, at 8:20 p.m. at the Metro 4 Theatre.