Watching Persepolis — an animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling graphic novel memoir — I didn’t just feel excited intellectually and artistically; I actually felt emotionally engaged, wrung-out, exhilarated, saddened and touched by Satrapi’s story of life as a young woman coming of age in pre-revolutionary Iran and after. Persepolis is a fresh, moving, out-of-the-gate masterpiece — a work of animation that manages to be artistically brilliant, politically rich, morally engaging and emotionally overwhelming.
The drawings themselves are plain, generalized and almost entirely in black-and-white. Perhaps Satrapi and Paronnaud feared that if the animation were more vital and realistic, the film would become too cartoonish and vulgar. Perhaps they’re right. But as animation, “Persepolis” is fairly uninteresting, its characters’ facial features not conveying much individuality. Reuters Pictures Photo Editors Choice: Best pictures from the last 24 hours. View Slideshow Satrapi’s dramatic young life so far has been anything but uninteresting. The film should attract those interested in women’s issues and politics in specialty venues. But Sony Pictures Classics will have to market hard to reach out to adult moviegoers beyond those categories in North America.