Persepolis (Sony, 2007) D: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, w/ Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve. Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNN
Anger, humour, warm emotion and surprising flights of fancy make a fine movie from Marjane Satrapi’s fictionalized memoir in graphic novel form.
Marji, a middle-class Iranian girl, is born under the Shah’s rule, lives through the revolution, flees to Vienna, where she finds alienation and desolation, and returns home to find herself an outsider in her own country.
Most of the movie is drawn in stark expressionist black-and-white, ideally suited to scenes of war and truly insane oppression, but co-directors Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud have a knack for shifting the mood without losing either the style or the seriousness of the story and for suggesting nuances of emotion in simple line drawings.
Chiara Mastroianni delivers a very lively, likeable Marji on both the French original and the English dubs, much of it a direct imitation of Satrapi, who, in the extras, hilariously acts out all the parts for animators and actors.
EXTRAS Select scene commentary with Satrapi, Paronnaud, Mastroianni; two making-of docs; Cannes press conference; animation comparisons with commentary. Widescreen. French, English audio. English, Spanish subtitles.