Review of 'Persepolis'

persepolis.jpg An expressionistic animation telling the story of a young Iranian girl growing up in Iran and, later, Europe in the late 1970s and 80s. Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi tells this largely autobiographical story from the eyes of herself as a youngster growing up with it's normal trials and tribulations that are then thrown to the wind with the repression of the shaw in Iran in 1979. But in this turmoil she manages to stay true to herself with her independent spirit and humour showing throughout. There are scenes of poigniancy though particularly with her coming to terms with herself in Europe. Her eventual return to Iran shows her that not only has her country changed significantly but also herself.

I have long looked forward to seeing this film having been familiar with the original graphic novel (also by the director). It never occurred to me that the movie would be as entertaining as it is with the audience at my screening periodically breaking out into laughter. I found the material though often in the midst of tremendously tragic and massive political events very accessible and told from a very human standpoint. Marji is a very sympathetic person who has her own weaknesses and struggles to find her way in a changing world.

The animation is quite unique but is far more intricate (as may be expected) than the novel it still has a simplistic and dark style that is evident in both. The story is told largely in black and white with only the occasional colour thrown in to accentuate particular elements of the story. The mixed use of languages reflects the life of Marji so do not go to see if you don't like subtitles or you are remarkably gifted at languages!

A surprisingly enjoyable and interesting movie. It does drag in a few places but is generally very good indeed.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2008-05-05

Directed by: Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi

Studio: (no studio reported)

Year: 2007

Length: 96 minutes

Genre: Animation