Mar 022012
 

Director: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 95 minutes

Release Date: 6/23/2007

Genre: Graphic Novel,Autobiographical

Cast: Teenage and Adult Marjane (Chiara Mastroianni), Mother (Catherine Deneuve), Grandmother (Danielle Darrieux), Father (Simon Abkarian), Uncle Anouche (Francois Jerosme)

Synopsis:  The animated film is based on the graphic novel of the same name by by Marjane Satrapi.  It is the story of Marjane Satrapi’s early life as a young girl growing up in Iran and begins  in 1978 just at the start of the Iranian Revolution.  Eventually, the changes brought on by the  revolution become too much for Marjane and she travels without her family to a French school in Vienna.  She has many freedoms in Vienna that she wouldn’t have been able to have in Iran, like drinking and partying with older boys, but she also ends up sick and living on the streets and almost dies of sickness.  Later, she travels back to Iran to be with her family and it appears that life is a little better there than it was when she first left.  Even so, she has a hard time fitting in, so she gets married but has difficult time with her husband and decides to divorce him.  After a narrow escape from the police during a raid where her freind dies, she decides to leave Iran again. The film ends with her getting off a plane in Paris to try to find a better place to live.

Pro:  Persepolis is a great film and it is no wonder that it was given many awards and even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  Some of the notable reasons its high praise are;

  • The sequence during the opening credits are just amazing with the Mythological Persian styling.
  • It was interesting to see how normal her parents were despite what was going on at the time.  Also to see any sort of non-fanatical images about people inside of Iran.
  • The message that a revolution against a repressive regime can bring about something worse even though it is driven by the people.
  • There is a great scene where Marjane has a music montage where she sings “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.
  • Another scene where Marjane looks back on her ex-boyfriend and realizes what a complete looser he was.
  • Just a really good view of the people of Iran and how they live their lives and just go with the flow to get by when things go badly.

Con: Event though this film is nearly perfect there were a few technical issues with it;

  • I had a difficulty reading the subtitles and seeing their facial expressions or what characters were doing at the same time.  I might have to re watch but with the English version or I guess I could learn French.
  • I realize that part of the deal with Marjane  is that she gets out of Iran initially because she speaks French, and that the film is made in France, but it is a bit strange seeing all of these Iranians speaking French instead of Persian.
  • Was it necessary to translate the words Vienne 1986 to Vienna 1986?

Conclusion:  This is a great film.  I learned much from it in a historical sense and her personal story is very moving and was great in mixing very grave serious scenes with elements of comedy. I recommend this for anyone, but some people may want to keep their hand on the rewind button in case they miss some of the dialogue.

 

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters 5
Story 5
Special Effects 4
Would Watch Again? 3
Average 4.25

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