Directed By: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Written By: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Starring: Chiara Mastroianni
Running Time: 95 minutes
Rated PG-13 For mature thematic material including violent images, sexual references, language and brief drug content.
It seems every time you turn around, another graphic novel has been made into a movie. Which is great, because I love graphic novels, and I love movies, and I love the thought of bringing them together like some beautiful cosmic sandwich. It hasn’t been all peanut butter and jelly, though – too often, these attempts are marred with inconsistent vision, shallow storytelling, and the sheer inability to capture the tone and experience of the source material.
Enter Persepolis, a french film about a girl growing up and trying to find her identity in Iran during a revolution, and later in Vienna. With an adorable visual style and well-crafted animation, it’s simply a joy to watch. The story itself is one of emotional twists and turns, but it keeps it’s tone and attitude even as it jumps from silly to outrageous to unbearably sad. And it does get sad. The film itself, however, is neither the sob fest the synopsis might lead you to suspect, nor the care-free comedy the trailer would appear, but a journey that embraces both humor and introspection.
It doesn’t hurt that it was written and co-directed by the creator and subject of the piece, Marjane Satrapi. There is a sense of integrity that permeates every part of this movie. It is charming, driven, and witty, but most importantly, it is always honest. She is a normal girl, living in a crazy world, and trying to find where she belongs.
There’s just something about animated films that always keeps me coming back for more. Persepolis is a stylish picture of an inspired tale, and a joy to experience. It stands as another fine gem that doesn’t disappoint.