Persepolis is a 2007 adult animated comedy-drama film based upon the Marjane Satrapi autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. It was written and directed by Satrapi in collaboration with Vincent Paronnaud. The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The title references the historical city of Persepolis.
The film traces Satrapi's growth from a child to a rebellious, punk-loving teenager in Iran. In the background are the growing tensions of the political climate in Iran in the 70s and 80s, with members of her liberal-leaning family detained and then executed, and the background of the disastrous Iran/Iraq war.
Why It Rocks
- It stays completely faithful to Marjane Satrapi's life and the artwork of the graphic novel, with its simplistic character designs and backgrounds. Even Marjane Satrapi herself directed this movie.
- It also stays faithful to what was popular in the West back in the 80s.
- Great and hilarious animation.
- Amazing performances for both French and English.
- Unlike other adult animated shows and films that are flooded with dark comedy, Persepolis tackles on mature themes in a serious, unpretentious way.
- The animation is able to reach it's full potential, with its use of hilarious scenes and exaggerated moments.
- It's a great account on what was going on in Iran back in the 80s and 90s. It's also a bold take on the difficulties of the Middle East, and shows how bad our society can be.
- The use of black and white imagery also allows scenes to blend in with the environment, such as when a protestor is shot and the blood is flowing out of the body.
- Clever pop-culture references to bands such as Bee Gees and movies such as Godzilla. Heck, in the scene where Marjane and her mom are watching the movie at the theater, they poke fun at the fact that some of the people in the movie just stand there screaming, not moving at all.
- God even talks to Marjane in her dreams.
- The scene where Marjane sings "Eye of the Tiger" is rather cringy due to the bad singing.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 96% approval rating with an average rating of 8.18/10, based on 161 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Persepolis is an emotionally powerful, dramatically enthralling autobiographical gem, and the film's simple black-and-white images are effective and bold". Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 90 out of 100, based on 31 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
- The film, along with the graphic novel, drew complaints from the Iranian government due to them being offensive to Iran.