Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Majane Satrapi, based on Satrapi's graphic novel memoir
"Persepolis" was a lovely and beautiful film, and proof that adult animation does not have to be filled with complex plots and crazy visuals. This is a film marked by its simplicity-both visually and its script content. Its based on the graphic novel memoir of the same name by Marjane Satrapi, who also co-directed to keep this in her original vision. We follow Marjane as a young girl in Iran, living in war torn areas. We follow her through her life up to this point, going in four to six year incriminates. We see her early obsessions with the war and people that were in jail or Communists. We see her falling in love with several people-one of them becoming a homosexual after their encounter with her, and another who ends up fooling around with another woman. We follow her normal problems with growing up-her changing body, etc. And we follow her problems in Iran, and the fact that she has to hide her hair and censor herself because she is a woman.
"Persepolis" is such a simple story, but is lovely in execution. It's hilarious-one example is Marjane's choice to get back up after a bad breakup, to the tune of her singing "Eye of the Tiger" in her broken English. And there's her relationship with her grandmother, who always has the right thing to say even though she has her own crazy way of saying it. But at heart its a coming of age story of a young woman who is being forced out of the life that she should be in. She is forced into marriage because its the only way she could be with the man she loves-even though she may not fully love him. And finally she is forced out of her homeland-which has scenes from the present day which are in color as opposed to the films crisp black and white.
Lately I saw a Japan animated film called "Paprika," which was filled with stunning visuals but had a storyline that I could hardly follow. With "Persepolis" I have faith in adult animation-such beautiful visuals-all hand drawn and 2D, no CGI-and it also tells such a tender and lovely story. When the Oscars come, I have a hard time figuring out what will (and what should) win best animated feature-"Persepolis" or "Ratatouille." In the end, not only did a massive amount of effort go into this, but it also is a very personal work. And it shows.