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Iran’s Misty Wonders Essay

In Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, both the movie and the book were able to portray the main idea of Marjane Satrapi “Marji’s” life. The main idea being for us to look at how Marji evolved into a grown women with struggles along the way. Throughout both we were able to clearly understand what a difficult childhood she lived and we were able to get a sense of what her life was like back then. Like in many cases, the book informed us of every detail possible in order to get a clearer message across. When it came to the movie, it lacked many details that were included in the book and if you would not have read the book it would cause you to be confused and lost. There are a couple scenes in the movie that seem to just happen, there was no type of development or leading actions involved. There was a specific scene in the movie where Marji and her mother walk past a conversation that her father and neighbors are having, the female neighbor seems to have some type of scar in her cheek but we are not sure what it is and if it even matters. If we take a look at the book we see that the scene is different. Marji and her family briefly talk with their neighbors, a husband and wife, and the husband tells her father “Look! A bullet almost hit my wife’s cheek,” (44).

This was a piece of information that could and should have been briefly added because it gives us a bigger picture of how dangerous their lives were during the revolution. This would only help us, the viewers, have a bigger reaction to the plot. Another example that comes to mind was the absence of certain characters. The family’s maid, Mehri, as well as Marji’s good friend, is never mentioned in the movie. This was an important factor because throughout an incident that is described in the book we are able to learn the big issues with social class and in the movie it is something that we miss out on since it is not mentioned at all. The incident was that Mehri falls in love with the neighbor’s son and once Marji’s father knows of this he tells Hossein, the neighbors son, that she is a maid therefore Hossein decided to stop seeing her. Marji’s Father explains to Marji, “You must understand that their love was impossible.” “Because in this country you must stay within your own social class,” (37). Many of the characters are also lacked full description, for instance, Mohsen, and Anoosh. From the movie all we hear about Mohsen is that he is found drowned in a bath tub and it leaves many unanswered questions such as why did it happen and who was he. In the book we know that he visited the Satrapi family the same day that Siamak visits but that is never portrayed in the movie.

When it comes to Anoosh, in the movie towards the end of the story he is telling Marji, she asks if he has any family, and ends the conversation. On the other hand, in the book he tells Marji “…I married and had two children, two girls…” And we are also able to learn that his marriage did not turn out very well. Although, there were many details missing in the movie that were included in the book, I do not think that it takes away the intention of the book. A message is clearly stated throughout the movie as well as the book. In both resources we are able to see how the main character grows up and how her surroundings, and everything she has experienced, influence the person she became. In my personal opinion I feel as if the book was more appealing than the movie. The movie was short and brief and got to the main points of the story and was still able to get a message across. I feel as if the book was more detailed which made the plot clearer. Every character was described perfectly and every scene made sense and fell into place with the other scenes, so that they could all make sense.

The details that are included in the book make the story bring more emotion to the reader for the fact that everything is explained, even the smallest details. The visual style for the movie was the same as the book, both were comics. The movie is all cartoons, which is something that I found interesting. I feel that making it into a cartoon was a smart decision because it makes it so simple and easy to follow. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to understand the movie very well, although it was in French, because many of the scenes were similar to the book. In the end, I think both the book and movie were enjoyable. What helped was that I had read the novel, before watching the movie. The lack of details and description of characters could have easily confused someone. On the bright side, a message was still able to get across through both sources.

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