Chicken with Plums - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chicken with Plums Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 14, 2012
In 1940s Tehran, a master musician decides to go to bed to die after his beloved violin breaks and he can't find a replacement; his life story is told in flashbacks and dream sequences featuring appearances by Socrates, the Angel of Death, and a giant Sophia Loren. An exotic and elegant fantasy drama that strikes an unique tone of despondent whimsy; beautiful, romantic stuff.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2012
In 1958 Tehran, Nasser-Ali Khan(Mathieu Amalric, who gives another tremendous performance) is a world class violinist without a violin. So his brother Abdi(Eric Caravaca) tells him about a Stradivarius on sale in a distant town. However, Nasser's long suffering wife Faringuisse(Maria de Medeiros), a teacher, wants to know who is going to look after their son Cyrus(Mathis Bour) if he goes. Nasser simplifies that by taking him along, luckily not getting himself killed after his son spends the entire epic bus trip running up and down the aisle. In the end, Nasser gets his violin but is still not happy. In fact, he is so depressed that he takes to his bed to wait for death.

First, forget about the title "Chicken with Plums." It suggests sentimentality when the movie's mood is anything but in its sweet melancholy. However, the tone is never oppressive, as it floats along in a variety of styles, including animation, in its expressive examination of mortality and fate, going so far as to also explore the future destinies of the two children. Sure, it may seem silly to the outside observer that Nasser is so torn up about a lost violin. But as the movie sensitively shows by going back and forth in time, there are some very good reasons for his sadness that emanate from a single tragic event.
½ September 28, 2012
Showy, bittersweet fable is stylish but empty.
March 3, 2015
From the creators of PERSEPOLIS comes the tale of a man who loses all hope and decides to die after his favorite violin is destroyed. That might sound odd, but of course it is a gross oversimplification of what goes on in CHICKEN WITH PLUMS. The central character, Nasser Ali (Matthieu Amalric), does indeed lose his precious violin, but its significance is revealed is multiple flashback sequences which give him background, motivation and depth. I don't really want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that the end result is rather poetic and touching. From a visual standpoint, it continues from the same place that PERSEPOLIS came from, while imbuing it with lots of color and fantastic elements. The film feels like a fairy tale at times, with a sense of whimsy and free-flowing creativity that flies in the face of rather depressing subject matter. Matthieu Amalric does a standup job as Nasser Ali, bringing a certain world-weariness to his character as well as youthful optimism in the flashback scenes. Ultimately, by the end of the film you understand why Nasser has chosen to just give up (although I don't condone suicide). Thematically, I think the film works on a couple of levels. First, there is the surface story which is about losing hope and one's raison d'etre. However, with a character named "Iran," I also think that there is a subtle political allegory as well. The film takes place in the 1950's and references are made visually and through dialogue to indicate that Marjane Satrapi is making commentary on this particular period of Iranian history. She also takes some potshots at America that I thought were slightly uncalled for, although no less funny in the context of the film. My only real issues with the film are that the supporting characters are mostly sidelined and/or underwritten, and the narrative structure lends itself to being a little episodic at times. That being said, though, I was quite pleased with the end result and emotionally invested the whole way. Overall, CHICKEN WITH PLUMS is a delightful cinematic confection from Marjane Satrapi about her native Iran. The subject matter is kind of depressing, but plenty of visual sugar (along with some emotional heft) helps the medicine go down smoothly.
½ April 22, 2013
This is a brilliant film composed of wit, romance and all the art and style that makes film enjoyable. With set pieces, animation and fabulous actors the directors have created a unique and memorable fable. The visuals are magical and some satirical, all dressed in a vision of charm and enveloped with the romance of music. Romance and Art are at the core of this film, it speaks of the soul of an artist and true love. Set in old Terhran the story is told with culture and warmth. It is an inspiration laced with humor, charm, beauty and at last love. This tale is universal and will touch more than one heart.
January 11, 2013
Beautiful story from Iran, Nasser Ali Khan who has broken heart, searching for the missing part of his life. The way the story has been told is beautiful. The character progressions and connections between past and presents are well established during the film.
March 23, 2014
A romantic and melancholic tale about love and loss. This poetic foreign film tells the tragic story of a suicidal musician, but in the end, this film is about much more than a broken violin.
½ November 21, 2013
Lyrical, Whimsical, Surreal... Chicken with Plums is delicious...
½ January 14, 2014
The story of a man who died of love. Amazing.
December 4, 2013
Amazing film that is a French fairytale of lost love with a pop-up book style of visuals.
April 15, 2013
Beautifully shot, fantastic acting and a charming, intelligent script. Satrapi makes every minute of it pure joy.
½ October 7, 2013
Enjoyable and clever, but misses the essence from the book. Something was lost in the switch from the tar (a plucked lute-like Persian instrument) to the violin.
June 25, 2013
A stunningly beautiful film in the visual and narrative sense, told with a touch of fantasy, humor and bittersweet sadness. All this, hauntingly lovely music, and Jamel Debbouze, too. What more could a movie lover ask for?
May 27, 2013
I kept wondering if it was intended as some sort of metaphor for the history of Persia/iran, which would have made it a little more shall we say meaningful, but alas I guess not. Beautiful but not quite all there.
May 17, 2013
Marjane Satrapis Persepolis" von vor ein paar Jahren, steht für mich noch immer für die Übermacht der europäischen Animationsszene gegenüber der amerikanischen. Persepolis" entstand zuerst als Grapic Novel und von dort war es nur ein kleiner Sprung zum Zeichentrickfilm.
Huhn mit Pflaumen" entstammt ebenfalls dem Malstift von Satrapi, doch dieses Mal wurde die Verfilmung als live-action angedacht.

Abermals behandelt Satrapi (iranische) Identität, Familie und die Liebe natürlich. Hört sich abgegriffen an - ist es auch, aber auf eine gute Art und Weise.

Der Film wird mittels Flashback erzählt (*kotz würg*, doch abermals ist es die starke Hand Satrapis und Paronnauds die uns über diese plumpe Narrative hinwegblicken lässt), und schon anfangs wird, ganz in American Beauty" Manier festgehalten, dass Nasser-Ali sterben wird.

Nasser-Ali ist Geiger, ein internationaler Star sogar, der seine Geige (und noch viel mehr) verloren hat und mit einer Frau verheiratet ist, die ihm unentwegt auf die Nerven geht. Sie liebt ihn zwar abgöttisch, doch diese Liebe ist einseitig.

Den Plot des Films zu erklären ohne die großen Twists zu verraten, ist durch die Erzählweise in Flashbacks äußerst schwierig, und so werde ich es an dieser Stelle dabei belassen.

Noch ein paar Worte zur Natur der Flashbacks vielleicht. Nasser-Ali liegt in seinem Bett und wartet auf den Tod (er hat mit dem Leben abgeschlossen) und es suchen ihn immer wieder Erinnerungen? Fieberträume? Halluzinationen? heim. Dies lässt die Erzählweise sogleich ein bisschen weniger generisch aussehen, zumal sich die Sequenzen wunderbar ins Gesamtkonzept einfügen.

Mathieu Amalric verkörpert Nasser-Ali. Amalric ist ein Schauspieler, den ich immer mehr schätze, desto öfter ich ihn sehe. Die Rolle erinnert entfernt an den bewegungsunfähigen Krüppel, den er in Schmetterling und Taucherglocke" verkörperte, auch wenn beide Filme aus ganz unterschiedlichen Gründen auf die Tränendrüse drücken.

Nasser-Ali ist nicht körperlich beeinträchtigt, und doch ist sein ganzes Leben von Bitterkeit, schlechten Entscheidungen und Abweisung durchzogen. Langsam beginnen wir zu verstehen warum er unbedingt sterben will. Meiner Natur nach, habe ich meistens kein Verständnis für Filmcharaktere, die den Freitod wählen, doch Nasser-Alis Leben trieb sogar mir Tränen in die Augen.

Der Film ist auch komplett auf Verklärung und Romantisierung getrimmt. Schmuddeliges Licht, aufwendige Szenenbilder und Kostüme und Geigenmusik wohin man blickt. Ein toller Film, melancholisch und absolut Date Night-geeignet.
May 19, 2013
Don't be caught dead before seeing this beautiful film at least once.
½ May 15, 2013
You can't help but be enchanted by the story-telling techniques of this film based on the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis). With allusions to Iran's changing culture in the 1950s, the story centers on a disillusioned and depressed violinist and his family. It delights with humor (via lines and scenes) and expands your perspective with animation and surprising revelations. Providing details only muddies the expectations, and they would not serve to prepare one for viewing this treat.
February 6, 2013
Inventive technique and sweet story in a macabre arc. Strikingly poetic camera work and dense detailed settings. Fresh, full characterizations, mostly. Some scenes are a refreshing surprise.
½ January 31, 2013
Hermosa y surrealista pelicula como pocas he visto ultimamente. Partiendo de una historia un tanto simple, un musico que, al perder su violin tras una disputa con su mujer decide tumbarse en su cama hasta morir. A raiz de eso repasaremos su vida, con todos sus altibajos, y viviremos la historia de amor mas hermosa de los ultimos tiempos en un lugar tan poco romantico como Teheran, capital de Iran. Obra de la directora de la genial Persepolis, y con trozos de animacion como la susodicha, tiene en sus dos interpretes principales su mejor baza. Una impasible Maria de Medeiros, convencida del poco amor que le profesa su marido y un descomunal Mathieu Amalric, increible en su papel de violinista desesperado...
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