Sunday, April 15, 2012

Persepolis (2007), Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi

This submission will be critically analysing animated movie "Persepolis" directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi. This movie is made by a graphic novel in which Marjane Satrapi tells a story about herself. This review is based on Roger Ebert's, Stephanie Zachrek's and Mick LaSalle's reviews.

Figure 1

The style of this movie is very similar to "Waltz and Bashir (2009) by Ari Folman, but there are few differences - this movie was made by a graphic novel, it is less realistic and it has more ironical humour inside. Roger Ebert says that: "The style is deliberately two-dimensional, avoiding the illusion of depth in current animation. This approach may sound spartan, but it is surprisingly involving, wrapping us in this autobiography that distills an epoch into a young women's life" (Chicago sun times, January 17, 2008). A choice of this kind of style helps to define very clearly the time and place. As the time goes on in the plot we see more colours and they differ from the place and mood. Places are also separated by the ornaments, architecture and outfits.

Figure 2

Time means a lot in this movie. The wholse story is about a little girl growing up into an adult. The most adorable thing about this film is the way how it manages to represent character in its different stages. Stephanie Zachrek gives an example: "“Persepolis” pulls off something that’s not easy for any film, even a live-action one, to do: It gives us a sense of how a kids’-eye view of the world — particularly the way kids are capable of grasping the idea of injustice, even when more delicate political arguments are beyond their reach — can emerge and grow into an adult sensibility." (Salon Reviews, October, 12, 2007). Later on the movie shows the girls struggles to adapt to different places. Satrapi doesn't seem to belong anywhere, she misses Iran, but it is not welcome to her. Even though her life seems full of amazing things, you feel sorry for her, because it becomes easy to feel her lonelyness.

Figure 3

"Persepolis" is done in a very close relationship with the graphic novel. Mick LaSalle explains that: "The movie, of course, is acted, and the action in the novels is imagined, but the film comes so close to what the reader's imagination conjures that those interested in "Persepolis" can choose their medium and have an almost identical experience." (San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2008). This experience comes from a very illustrative way, how it was drawn. Characters and environments really do look very similar. Without being just an animated version of the novel it also adds these amazing transitions in between dream and memory sequences. It shows every detail that happens in the girls head in a very charismatic and clearly defined way.

All in all this movie is again very original and good looking. It tells a lot about people living in Iran and how they feel after immigration. The story is real and most of the people probably could relate some parts of it with them selves.


1) Roger Ebert (Chicago sun times, January 17, 2008)

2) Stephanie Zachrek (Salon Reviews, October, 12, 2007)

3) Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2008)


1) Young main character

2) Teenage main character

3) God in girl's imagination

No comments:

Post a Comment