remains of a half-torn ticket

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Persepolis (2007)

Movie: Persepolis
Genre: Drama/Animation/Biography/War
Language: French | English | Persian
Director: Vincent Paronnaud
Marjane Satrapi
Writers: Marjane Satrapi (comic)
Vincent Paronnaud (scenario)
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
Runtime: 96 mins

Persepolis is a Persian animated autobiographical by Marjane Satrapi talking about the political paradigm shift from the shah's reign to the orthodoxy Islamic scenarios and the chronological display of the Islamic revolution in Iran.

Animations are generally seen with a certain mindset. For me, I bifurcate them in 3 categories. One, amazing Disney/Pixar animations blended with mind-blowing story telling. Second, Japanese stuff, similarly creative with a very different outlook. Spirited away and grave of the fireflies being the two favourites, though there is a lot of series stuff around that has captivated the east and the west. In the third category I had put Waking life and similar movies. Persepolis does not automatically fall into any of these three categories, but it has an inclination towards the third, which makes it even more inevitable for me to discuss it here.

This movie is a very heavily content based movie and animation is just a medium being used to say the intended. But it's impossible to not discuss the phenomenal use of subtle aspects of animation. The movie mostly runs in black and white to imply flashback and that gives a certain structure to the movie. Though the animation may not be as fresh and creative like monsters inc. or surrealistic like spirited away, but still the very minimal display of everything makes it unique and impressive in its own kind. Handicapped by the black-and-white ambience, focus is used to a notably baffling extent. Overall, a very fine animation structure to keep you engrossed for the complete time.

I would have liked to see this movie as a real picture as much as I liked the animation. The journey of Marjane Satrapi talking about her mental buildup as a kid in the backdrop of revolution as well as her family’s involvement shaping up her thoughts. This followed by her adolescence and her individual dilemmas about love and relationships, her transit from Iran to Austria, her life in Austria and then transit from Austria to Iran. Her complete story is stitched to the plot in a very organized manner, something to love about this movie as the war and revolution could have played the role of plot-destroyer, which it didn’t.

A very strongly recommended movie for a strong story line and an amazing screenplay, a pretty simple but still out-of-box and intriguing usage of technology, handmade animations and camera fiddling, boundary less emotion portrayals and historical significance. And to top it all, an overall exhilarating experience. Another Persian gem!