Posted 09 August 2008 - 04:11 AM
Finally got around to watching Persepolis
. Eh. It was competent but unimpressive, unnecessary, and unambitious.
I think a live-action adaptation, perhaps done in a high-contrast black and white and shot like a Noir picture with lots of glorious shadows, would have been significantly more compelling. The rudimentary animation makes me wonder why they felt the need to adapt this story to film at all. I see no reason to simply replicate the graphic novel. We already have the cartoon in book form. Why not add another dimension to the work? Satrapi's drawings in the book are adequate but lack character and aren't exactly stunning. Why her style was so exactingly preserved for the film is a mystery to me.
The film actually highlights many of the flaws of the graphic novel in that it plays like a dispassionate recitation of bullet points. No drama and no suspense. The film is an endless montage where scenes last only long enough for the characters to spout a few basic observations or deliver a brief history lesson before moving on. Any actual relationships are left woefully undeveloped and any exploration of theme is as simplistic as the animation.
Few beings have ever been so impregnated, pierced to the core, by the conviction of the absolute futility of human aspiration. The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear. Other races in turn will appear and disappear. And human actions are as free and as stripped of meaning as the unfettered movements of the elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, sentiments? Pure ‘Victorian fictions.’ All that exists is egotism. Cold, intact, and radiant.