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My Grade: C-

A girl in Iran rebels against her country and trys to find peace within herself in the foreign animated film "Persepolis". Marjane Satrapi takes a leap from comic book to film, and the move is as smooth as could be, but the source material, I believe, is very weak. I was looking forward to this movie after all of the incredible buzz for it, but I don't see what is so exciting about the movie. I loved the black and white animation and the character herself is very interesting, but the story and the way it is portrayed is sort of, well, bland. In 90 minutes we get a huge ammount of information that we have to take in about the war in Iran, Marjane's family life, her inner turmoil, her lovelife, her moves from here and there... and all of it just seems contrived, because of how spread-out the story is. We don't get any meaty details, just vague moments here and there in her life. "Persepolis" reminded me alot of Studio Ghibli's far superior "My Neighbors the Yamadas", that film was lighthearted and simple... I think that the source-material is too heavy-handed to be portrayed in such a way.

Persepolis tells the story of Marjane Statrapi, a girl growing up in 1970's Iran. It shows the state of Iran and the defeat of the hated Shah through her young eyes. In essence it's a coming of age story but it's really eye opening. The conditions that women have to live through in Iran is truly horrifying and Marjane refuses to remain quiet. She fights back and refuses to be treated like a dog. Every time I hear or see something about the treatment of women in foreign countries like this I get angry and just wish that someone would stand up for themselves. Well, that's what Marjane does. Even though this if brave of her, it's also dangerous. Marjane's parents eventually send her abroad to Vienna for her safety. Now supposedly free, she feels more trapped than ever. She knows she doesn't belong or fit in here and she misses her family deeply. It's a scary realization that she doesn't know where she belongs. Once she returns to Iran the country is very different than what she remembers. A story about a girl against all odds, Persepolis is very interesting. The animation is also pretty unique, in mostly black and white with occasional spots of color. It's refreshing to see an animated film like this that is actually saying something, rather than just kiddy eye candy. That being said, this film isn't for everyone. I found the story to be a little sad and gloomy and at some parts slow. The character of Marjane, however, keeps the movie afloat and makes you care in the end. She is someone most people can relate to and a hero to young girls across the globe.

PERSEPOLIS: 7/10
Persepolis 8/10

+Excellent animation
+Good voice acting in French and English
+Stays pretty true to the graphic novels
+Loads of style
-Leaves a lot of good material from the graphic novels out
-Second half noticably weaker than the first
Loved the animation and the unique storyline but when translatted to English it went really fast.
The animation is great and the story is well executed. But it did feel like someone turning the pages of a comic book.
RECENTLY SEEN... on DVD


Before I saw Persepolis, I wondered why a movie like this would be better served animated? I can't really explain it, but after viewing, I can't imagine it being anything but animated. Persepolis tells the story of Marji, an Iranian woman who is sent to Vienna for her studies during the reign of Islamic fundamentalists in her home country. Along the way, Marji comes of age and learns many valuable lessons inside, and outside, of Iran's borders.

The style of the animation was very fresh and interesting. The story was also very compelling. I can understand why this movie received so much buzz, not to mention the Oscar nod for best animated film. Persepolis is definitely worth your time.
THE DARK KNIGHT
****
Really, really good. I'm glad to see it was nominated for the Emmy. Really, really nice and great. (Oh hehehehehehehehe inside joke).



In other news, the MID STATE FAIR has come to town! This is so exciting! You know what's fun? Walking through the parking lot. I live in a foofsy town, so I counted like a hundered BMWs, Mercedes', and Lexus's. Unbelievable.

Oh, yes, reviews of Airplane!, Bella, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Avatar: The Last Airbender.









(****):

A great animated film. Interesting story that kept me involved throughout. One of 2007's best films.
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