Persepolis Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2011
Just about as expected. In fact, I was prepared for worse experience while opting for it. It had too much in it that appealed me to stay away from it. But as usual, I couldn't ignore its high rating for ever (I did it for long, though). Of course, had it been a movie for kids, I might not have dared to go for it.

A critically acclaimed animated autobiographical (give or take a little) flick that turned out to be no more than average for me.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2007
This smart animated film tells the story of the Islamic revolution in Iran from the eyes of a open minded young girl, growing up to be a woman both inside and abroad of the country. That's surprisingly informative as a history lesson, both funny and dark and realistic at times, but always striking the right tone. While the animation always stays simplistic, the main character easily engages the audience and makes you care for her voyage and the story of her home. Only the ending comes off as a bit anticlimatic, but that doesn't take anything away from the importance and charm of the film. Very well done.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2011
Intimacy with the history of Iran, the Islamic Revolution through an animated autobiography by and of Marjane Satrapi, a witness to the oppression of civil and women rights in Iran. Persepolis is visually beautiful, and socially, culturally, and politically reflective. Significant.
Marc L.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2011
I saw this movie in school, and my reaction. It was actually pretty good. Very, very good. It had some big flaws, but for the most part, I enjoyed it.

Let's start with the bad, and work up to the good. First of, despite most of the movie being very good, the ending flat out sucked. Like it really, really sucked. They leave us on a cliff hanger, yet they never give us a sequel. Heck, they don't even give us a spin off television series. It's right up there with Knowing for worst ending ever.

However, the good really outweighs the bad. Marji is a very interesting and complicated character. She is very free spirited and brave, but sometimes that can get her in trouble. By the end of the movie, we truly feel for her, especially when Uncle Anooush is arrested.

The script was also very good. I don't often notice a script, but the script for Persepolis was so good it was actually quite shocking.

It's a very intelligent and emotional film that I reccomend to anyone, especially historical fiction lovers and fans of the movie The Boy in The Striped Pajamas. Great, great film.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
They say that we must learn from the past or we're doomed to repeat it. I've always thought that was because the past helps us better understand the present.
This autobiographical film tells the story of a young girl who comes to a vague political awareness during the Islamic Revolution against the Shah and comes of age during the following cultural shift from an era of relative freedom to a world dictated by Islamic law. Though she spends part of the film in Vienna, most of the action takes place in Khomeini's Iran.
The film has many strengths, not the least of which is its clever animation. Most of the film takes place in black and white, primarily used to differentiate past from present, oppression from freedom, and the contrasts of each image give the film a visual poetry that is absent in many color animated films. If you've ever thought that actresses were more beautiful, actors more charming, in older, black and white films, then you'll also be struck by the grace of the visuals in Persepolis.
What is more, Satrapi understands that many audiences wouldn't sit through a lecture on Iranian history - especially if they're expecting to see an entertaining film. Like Oliver Stone's great, politically based films, Satrapi keeps the political discussion centered on the characters. These are people whose lives have been dramatically altered by politics, and whatever political discourses the film ventures into are always relevant to the characters' journeys. Satrapi knows that in this genre we only care about politics to the extent we care about the characters.
Finally, Iran has endured violent colonization, oil money-grubbers, a radical cultural revolution, a bloody war with Iraq, and all the problems associated with a theocracy. They've fit an awful lot of violence and upheaval all within the last fifty years. Such subjects carry a slit-your-wrists level of heaviness, but there is enough comic relief in Persepolis to keep us out of the doldrums for too long. Jokes at the expense the male ego, Marjane's resistance against Islamic norms, and a truly inspired Eye of the Tiger (you know - that song from Rocky III) sequence keep us laughing between depictions of political unrest.
Considering France has recently outlawed burqas, I found it odd that France was the penultimate representation of freedom for the characters, but it is nevertheless true that Western democracies starkly contrast current conditions in Iran. It is also true that Western foreign policy - most notably our own policy - is actively engaged in what goes on in Iran, a warehouse of foreign oil. While it's always dangerous to get our history from film, partially because we are subject to the filmmakers' bias, watching Persepolis provides a remarkably educational and fairly accurate depiction of how Iran got from where it was to what we hear about during every contemporary newscast. Understanding the past and understanding Persepolis truly does lead us to understanding the present, and the fine animation, comic relief, and focus on character adds sugar to whatever bitterness the medicine of a history lesson might carry.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2010
if i could name one foreign film adapted from a graphic novel done in black and white and is gripping and powerful i would definetly choose this movie i mean it is probably the most realistic animated film ive ever seen plot wise the main character you latch onto the whole movie and you follow her through all the pain and hell she goes through in her life while she narrates the story
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2008
An engaging story with a very distinctive animated style.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2008
Oddly amusing animated film about a girl who grows up in the disjointed, violent middle east then moves to France to begin a new life. The movie is strangely intiguing and slick to a point, but points off for it being in French. I don't speak the language, so having to try and read the subtitles while catching everything onscreen really took the fun out of the movie. Very enjoyable anyway.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2009
Simple but beautiful animation telling a truly original and heart wrenching story of one girls struggle. A Fantastic and important film, please go see it!!
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2008
A sad biography of a woman from an intellectual, liberal family who grew up through the Iranian revolution. Filmed as an almost Peanuts style cartoon animation, the story tries to also be a documentary that at times can make it a bit too dry and prosaic, which the ending only serves to emphasise.
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2007
Totally unique, a film portraying a message that would benenfit many people to watch. Animated in sillouette style, this very serious subject matter is tackled controversially, yet in an educational way.

This film isn?t just about Culture, Religion, Polictics, battle of the sexes or Coming of age ? it?s a combination of all.

Refreshingly unique
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2008
An absolutely gripping film, if in no other way than visually. The animation pulls from incredibly different sources, looking at times like Tintin, South Park, and Frank Miller graphic novels all mixed into one. Direction is somewhere between Rosselini and Tim Burton. And yet, it looks completely different than any of the above.

The story is charming, simple but complex, heavy but with funny moments (some darker than others). The politics seem reasonable, I'm no expert but the movie focuses more on the people in Iran than the ideology behind the country's history, and bias or no it's a good little story. Good enough that Persepolis will likely become a standby in introductory post-colonial film (and literature) courses - and they could do worse. One of the best of 2007, no question.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2009
I love the visuals in this movie. I also love how this movie mixes humor/hyperbole with genuine emotion.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2009
Although it's cleverly directed and gorgeously animated, PERSEPOLIS fails to entertain through most of its (short) running time.

Still, the film has an impressive impact that's certainly not softened by its subtle comedy. Again, worth watching for the incredible animation.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2009
Persepolis is an animated adaptation of the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi about her life growing up in Iran during Islamic revolution. She listens to the stories of her parents about the cruelty of the Shah, and watches in horror as the strict religious theocracy gets elected in his place. Perhaps Marjane wasn't even aware of the magnitude of the historical events unfolding around her at the time, but in retrospect, wrote a story heavily steeped in them. There are lots of little touches here to make this more than just a historical drama: such as when her uncle makes a little swan out of bread for her while in prison, or when her grandmother tells her she puts fresh jasmine petals in her bra every morning so that she'll smell good all day. Eventually, Marjane's parents send her to Europe to live, and she finds herself alone as an outsider in a culture that's already judged her based on where she came from. Artistically, the movie is animated in a simple style, heavy dark shades are used everywhere. And yet, there's a great detail to some of the scenes. It's almost easy to forget you're watching an animated movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2007
Magnificent! Rarely has a film been as emotionally resonant, deeply poignant and visually poetic as Persepolis - let alone an animated movie. Based on the highly acclaimed autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, this is a coming-of-age story framed by religious intolerance, political repression and segregation. But above all, it's a work of art about the very foundations of the human spirit.
This never tries to make a hero or a victim out of Marjane - her flaws are what make her so irresistibly human. In the end, Marjane had to leave Iran and move to France. By means of Persepolis, it seems like she finally found a way to preserve the Iran she so deeply loves.
Super Reviewer
March 7, 2009
aw i really liked this it was very cute and comforting to know that yanks aren't the rulers of propoganda, and that one little Iranian woman can voice her views and opinions to a world wide audience. Fully animated (see cover art) so wait for the right time to watch
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2009
The animation is stunning. It's different and suits the film very well. Unfortunately the story is filled with annoying and dull characters and the film gets wrapped up in a sense of it's own importance. The film really has nothing new to say and tries too hard to get a message across. It's also painfully biased, which can be very off putting. Luckily, brimming under the surface is a tender and moving coming-of-age saga, that really should have been the main focus. It will be an original treat for fans of animation, but it's hard to care for a film that at times, is just desperate.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2008
What a great experience this film was.

The story is intriguing and delightful to spite it's sometimes unpleasant subject matter.

The animation is totally captivating and the voice actors are PERFECTLY suited for their roles.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2008
#6: Persepolis
Offering a child?s eye view of the repressive regime in 1980s Iran, Marjane Satrapi?s autobiographical cartoon wowed audiences with its timeless animation, exuberant heroine and fiery political content. Marjane?s defiance, whether she?s listening to punk rock or arguing history with her teachers, makes her a deeply lovable narrator. The film deservedly won an Oscar for best animated feature.

Best bit: The animation itself ? bombs fall and history unfolds in brilliant black and white.
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