Persepolis (review)

Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

There is no question that the animation style of this French production is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before: it apes the style of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel of the same name, with its scratchboard vitality and black-and-white insistence. But something essential has gotten lost in the translation from the page to the screen. Which is not to say that this isn’t a fine film: it’s just not great, like I would have expected it to be, like the source material is. Satrapi — working with French comics artist Vincent Paronnaud — tells the true story of her childhood in Iran before and during the Islamic revolution, when her girlish vivacity, fueled by Western rock music and fantasies of the wider world that any teenager would recognize, slowly gets crushed under the tyrannical thumb of religious oppression. Small details about secret parties and illegal alcohol and other furtive defiance of the oppressive rule of the mullahs build to a larger, poignant story about overcoming fear — and learning to cope with it — when positively everything sprials out of control. As a cautionary tale about how fast tyranny can fall, there is power here. As a coming-of-age tale of a girlhood lost too soon, it leaves us wanting, just a little.

(Technorati tags: , )

share and enjoy
If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll measure. If you’re not a spammer or a troll, your comment will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately.
notify of
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments