Film and Persepolis
Persepolis is an animated film directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. The film was based on the novel Persepolis written by Marjane Satrapi. It followed the storyline of the book. It showed the life of Marjane Satrapi growing up during the Iranian Cultural Revolution. Persepolis was very vibrant to look at with stunning visuals in its black and white animated style. The whole film was an emotional roller coaster ride from Marjane being extremely happy and in love to her homeless on the streets of Vienna. It held your interest from start to finish.
The film garnered critical acclaim from its critics and it was nominated for several prestigious awards. It also did well in the box office by recording a fifteen million dollar profit. I thought that the film was very good myself and it really gave viewers an interesting look at the revolution. I thought that Persepolis was a very good movie. It was a coming of age film about Marjane growing up during the Iranian Cultural Revolution. It showed her vibrant personality and how she grew up to become the successful author and film director she is today.
The whole film is done in an animation style and I really think this helped the film a lot. It gave the film a sense of originality and it was a big change from the things we normally see in films nowadays. Without the film being in an animation form I think that a lot would have been taken away from it. A lot of Persepolis’ glamor came from the fact that it was animated. The animation helped viewers become more emotionally attached to Marjane. With this being said I thought Persepolis had a very good mix of drama, comedy, somber moments and it kept you interested throughout.
I don’t have any criticisms about the film at all. There wasn’t one point in the movie where I was bored, confused or just uninterested in anyway. It was honestly one of the best movies I’ve recently seen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. All of the movie reviews that I have seen online have been very good. From RottenTomatoes to New York Times movie reviews all of the reviews have been good. At RottenTomatoes the film had an extremely high percentage of critics that liked it at 97 percent. The New York Times called the film “a perfect expression of imagination” and Empire praised the film calling it “stark and beautiful”.
I agree with most if not all of the movie reviews that I’ve seen. The reviews all praised the movie for being able to have very smooth changes in mood and for its sharp visuals. Persepolis debuted at the 2007 Cannes film festival where it won multiple awards including the very prestigious Jury Prize. It then went on to achieve the most prestigious award at the London film festival by winning the Southerland trophy. In an interview with Moviefone a few days after Persepolis was released Satrapi explained why they decided to keep the film in the animated condition it was in in the novel.
She explained that she didn’t know how to type and she and Paronnaud were more into art and drawing anyway. Satrapi stated in the interview that she and Paronnaud were not technical people (Satrapi 1). This is a reason that the film was in the format it was in. I think that keeping the comic book look helped the film a lot. It gave it a sense of originality and it allowed them to make funny over the top animations. The whole script was written in pencil by Parronaud and Satrapi because they didn’t know how to use computers. I thought that this fit with the whole vibe of the movie.
I thought that Persepolis was a very refreshing movie given the types of movies that we see now. It had a little bit of everything. In the New York Times review of the film they agreed with my point that I made earlier about the animation greatly helping the movie. New York Times writer A. O Scott said that “if “Persepolis” had been a conventional memoir rather than a graphic novel, Ms. Satrapi’s account of her youth in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran would not have been quite as moving or as marvelous” (Scott 1). I agree with this quote one hundred percent. As I stated earlier, the animation really helped Persepolis move along as a movie.
I think that without the animation Persepolis would have been a boring movie and it wouldn’t be relevant. This isn’t to say that the storyline isn’t good or well thought out I just think that it wouldn’t have been as successful or touching with real life actors portraying the roles. The review really seemed to praise the animation of Persepolis a lot. Scott claimed that the visuals of Vienna and Tehran turned the “geography into poetry” (Scott 1). He also praised the fact that Persepolis isn’t an animated children’s movie and that it’s nice to see an animated movie being able to have so much meaning.
The rest of the review praised the movie for its moving characters and the great jobs that Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Danielle Darrieux did voice acting for the main characters of the film. He said that Sony did a great job by getting the movie voice acted into English because had it just been subtitled to English it would of took away from the authenticity of the film. All in all A. O Scott’s review of the film was highly positive. He had no criticisms about the film. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film a very high review.
His movie review was also very similar to my thoughts on the film. The visuals really helped the film according to Bradshaw Persepolis “funny and moving with a bracingly authentic feel, reproducing the graphic work with broad, bold strokes and a depth-of-field effect achieved with a recessive series of two-dimensional planes, like the ocean waves at the back of a panto set” (Bradshaw 1). I agreed with most of the comments that Bradshaw had for the movie. He thought that Persepolis was a fresh original story and it was told in a way that a story hasn’t been told before.
I thought it was interesting that Bradshaws only criticism of the film was something that Scott had praised about the film earlier. Bradshaw didn’t think that the English dubbed version was that good. He thought that Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve both struggled with the voice acting and you can hear there heavily accented English accents. All in all Peter Bradshaw really liked Persepolis and his only criticism was a very minor one. Helen O’ Hara of Empire magazine gave the film four out of five stars. She seemed to enjoy the visuals but not as much as Bradshaw and Scott did.
She praised the film more for its storyline did she did that animation. O’ Hara really enjoyed Marjane as a young girl by stating “Marjane-as-a-child is one of the most appealing characters in years, happy to embrace new ideas like the latest Igglepiggle and believing herself, briefly, to be a prophet appointed by God” (O’ Hara 1). I thought that O’ Hara’s interview went the deepest into the actual storyline and characters of the movie rather than the visuals. She really liked the film for the roller coaster of emotions that it sent you on and as I stated earlier she really enjoyed Marjane as a character.
O’ Hara also gave the animation good words. She thought that it was a real change from the incredible animations that we see nowadays in movies like Shrek but Persepolis pulled it off flawlessly. O’ Hara made this point by saying “The monochrome animation is stark and beautiful, and Marjane’s an appealing narrator. Often hilarious, sometimes tragic, this may be low-tech, but it’s high-class” (O’ Hara 1). I think that this is the perfect way to sum up Persepolis in one sentence. CNN’s Tom Charity also gave the film very high praise. He thought the visuals were amazing and he also enjoyed the characters and the storyline a lot.
He thought that Persepolis should of won an Oscar that year and he really enjoyed the originality of the film. I think that Charity enjoyed every aspect of the film more than any other person who reviewed the film. He loved the characters the animation and the storyline. As with all the other reviews the main aspect of the article was Persepolis’s visual animations. Charity claimed that “”Persepolis” has some of the blithe, spindly finesse of a New Yorker cartoon, but a cartoon that at any given moment threatens to descend into inky expressionist gloom” (Charity 1).
He really seemed to enjoy the throwback feel that Persepolis had and he thought that the film gave homage to Disney’s earliest days. Charity’s review gave me another viewpoint on Persepolis as a film. I never thought of the movie as a moving New Yorker cartoon or homage to some of Disney’s earliest films. This made me appreciate the movie even more than I already did. When list. com writer James Mottram interviewed Satrapi we were able to get an insight into what Satrapi’s meaning of the film was and how successful she thought the film would be in America.
Satrapi stated she didn’t like the film being called an autobiography because “An autobiography is a book that people write to solve the problems with those around them. They don’t dare to say things to their family and friends, so they decide to write in revenge. That is not what I did. ” (Mottram 1) I thought that the film was an autobiography as well but Satrapi made the film so I guess she knows best. Later in the interview Satrapi explains that she thought the film would be successful in the United States. She claimed that the average American person wasn’t “ignorant and dumb”.
I think that Marjane’s attitude and demeanor in her real life interviews really reflects her character in Persepolis. The interview mainly focused on the hard work that it took to make Persepolis. Marjane stated that she thought “all of her animators would do the work and she would end up rich and famous” but this wasn’t the case. She said she was the first one there and the last one to leave every day but her hard work paid off. This was shown by her 15 million dollar profit. All in all I thought that Persepolis was a fantastic movie and the reviews I have read have agreed with me.
The visuals were stunning and the characters were very easy to connect with. It was the most interesting autobiography that I have ever seen and it taught me a lot about a topic that I didn’t know anything about. I think that Persepolis was close to flawless as a movie can get. There were no serious complaints about it from anyone and I couldn’t even find a bad review for it on the internet or anywhere else. Persepolis shows that thinking out of the box can really pay off if it’s done right, and I think it really should motivate people to follow their visions.