Friday, July 11, 2008

"Persepolis"(2007) - mini REVIEW

While Pixar's film's may be becoming increasingly more grownup, they still aren't anything near what one would call a "cartoon for adults only". Persepolis, (France's failed submission for Foreign Language Film, yet successful Animated Film nominee) is one such adult cartoon. While it's animation style and primitive (though beautiful) black and white coloring may make it seem to be aimed at a younger audience, this is no cartoon for the kids. War, death, love, sex, and political philosophy are all major players in this moving adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's semi-autobiographical graphic novel. The story covers the life of Marjane as Iran and Tehran witness the rise and fall of the Shah regime, the dictatorships that follow, and the eight year war with Iraq. Though at times it's quite grim, the screenplay injects a handful of hilarious moments, the highlight of which is watching Marjane's awkward transition into womanhood; the animation perfectly captures the narrator's feelings about her rapidly changing physical features with humorous exaggeration. If there's one flaw in the storytelling, it's that Satrapi and her co-director Vincent Parranoud often resort to using blackouts as a means of scene transition, instead of coming up with something clever to link them. All in all, a different and refreshing take on a dark period of history that deserves to be seen.

Grade: B+

Nominations for 2007: Best Animated Film (#1 WINNER)

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