March 23, 2008

Review: Persepolis

I just finished watching the new movie Persepolis. I have wanted to see it since it premiered on the Rotterdam Filmfestival in January, but knowing that it would come out in the cinema's I didn't bother seeing it then.

It's an animated movie after the graphic novel with the same title of author Marjane Satrapi. It recounts her life growing up in Iran after the 1979 revolution, and coming to Europe for highschool. Great insight to a major historic event from a personal point of view.

While I enjoyed the movie I think the very simplistic drawing did harm the presentation of the story as a movie. Although I haven't read the book (but a friend of mine apparently has it) I imagine it to be much more powerful on paper. Even though less is sometimes more, I feel that on screen you need more visual power to convince the viewer - and this is one of those cases.

Especially the beginning of the movie felt too much like a documentary and too slow-going to really catch my attention. Maybe this is also because the beginning describes a period in Satrapi's life when she's still very young, and things seem to be moving faster as she gets older. And I started to enjoy it more as the story continues as well.

It is a very interesting part of history though, and I love the way that this story shows a little bit of that. And it has made me interested to know more about the actual happenings and history of this part of the world. Nevertheless, I do think I'll like the book better.

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