Wanna hear about a unique idea for an animated film? How about a film based on a four-volume series of graphic novels centering on 8-year-old Marjane Satrapi, a young girl coming-of-age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Yeah, not exactly the first thing you think of in a world filled with mutant ninja turtles, talking rats and Middle English Norse warriors. I went in with an open mind and high expectations only left to be left feeling like I never got the full story.
Despite the love being thrown toward Persepolis I never really got the feeling it was ever properly conceived into a feature film. The story never seemed to be as interesting as it was cute. There are moments Marjane surprises you with some of her choices as a girl trying to find her way in a war torn society, but it never seems fully realized.
France, in an interesting turn, submitted Persepolis as their candidate for best foreign film at the 2008 Oscars by passing on critically acclaimed films La Vie En Rose and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly but despite its impressive animation there isn’t much more to enjoy.
The film begins in 1978 and continues through into the 1990s as Marjane navigates the streets of Iran as an infant and her ultimate return home after a variety of trials and tribulations in college and beyond. Marjane must find her way and as an only child and has found the majority of her guidance from her sweet grandmother whose frankness in her guidance and a firm hand in her recommendations is all too adorable.
Perhaps I am not cultured enough to enjoy all of the films subtleties, but outside of a couple of early bits of dark humor and Marjane’s irresistible conversations with her grandmother, I resorted to finding enjoyment in an oddly inspiring rendition of Rocky‘s “Eye of the Tiger”, something I had already witnessed thanks to the trailer.
I can’t exactly think of an audience suited for this film outside of obscure art house auds, and doubt the film will find much of a following. Based on what I have seen of the graphic novel you could get just as much enjoyment there as you do here considering the film mirrors the novels expertly just not enjoyably.