Film Review: Persepolis

Persepolis film.jpg

This is a movie I watched a long time ago, and loved. It’s based off of the graphic novel

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and tells the story of her childhood in and out of Iran, before and after the Iranian Revolution that ended 2,500 years of continuous Persian monarchical rule and installed the government of today.

While I didn’t read the graphic novel, I find the movie’s animation style very interesting. It’s unlike anything else. The present-day is animated in color, but the important parts, the story of her childhood, is in grayscale.

Image result for persepolis movieWhat was most memorable, of course, was the fact that this is based off of a true story. Marji goes from an outspoken child to someone who suffers the loss of multiple relatives and friends, and sees her country constantly at war. Despite this, she does her best to stay herself.

As the new government becomes increasingly oppressive and systematically takes away human freedoms, she and her friends find solace in sneaking in Western rock CDs to class, wearing punk pullovers, and doing other things to rebel against the government. After standing up for herself in school, she’s sent to a school in Austria to keep her safe, which she loves but doesn’t quite fit in to. She jumps from house to house, each time meeting someone even more ridiculous, before ending up on the streets. After almost dying, she returns to Iran, where things are just as she remembers, but it’s her that changed. Marji falls into a deep depression, but eventually makes it out and vows to not let the people she love down. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of her troubles. Image result for persepolis movieBefore watching this movie, I knew little about Iran and Iranian people. But seeing the world from another perspective really has taught me a lot. I’ll remember Persepolis for the wonderful jokes, animation, and story (Does contain some adult content). You should definitely watch if you have time over the summer.

-Michael Z.

Persepolis is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Finding Dory Review

findingdoryOver the last 20 years, Pixar Studios has cemented itself as one of, if not the best animation studios in the business. This is due to their consistency and devotion to their franchises. One of the most successful of these franchises was Finding Nemo, which was a critical and commercial success for Pixar. After 13 years, the sequel Finding Dory has finally been released.

Set after the events of the first movie, it is now Dory’s turn to go looking for someone, with Nemo and Marlin to help. What I really liked about the film was that the characters still have the same voices after nearly a decade. Especially Ellen DeGeneres who reprises her role as Dory. She had a fantastic performance, making you truly care about Dory and her struggles. Marlin is as uptight as ever, and provides a great contrast to Dory’s recklessness. The new characters in the film are all well done also.

I found the film to be paced very well also, with fantastic writing and humor to wrap it all up nicely. There are some genuinely hilarious moments in this movie, more than I was expecting. At the same time, there are very heartfelt and emotional moments that stick with you.

However, one thing I didn’t like about the film was the lack of innovation from the first. It explored similar themes of family, forgiveness, and hope, and while different events take place, they weren’t as unique as I would’ve liked. After Zootopia, I would’ve preferred a less clichéd story along with some social commentary. But these are just small nitpicks for an overall excellent experience.

Finding Dory is one of the best animated films in years, bringing back everything we loved from the original and reminding us how great Pixar can be. Anyone who enjoys animated movies, is a fan of Finding Nemo, or wants to have a fun time should go see this movie. In fact, the last word of the entire film describes this sequel perfectly: unforgettable.

-Ahmed H, grade 12