Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Chicken With Plums" - Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (2012)

"Chicken With Plums" is Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's follow-up to their 2007 animated masterpiece, "Persepolis."

The film tells the story of Nasser-Ali, a man whose violin breaks.  He can't find a suitable replacement, so he decides it's time to die.

This may not sound like the premise for a magical film full of wonder, but it is.

Toward the beginning of the film, we're treated to a montage of Nasser-Ali fantasizing about all the possible ways he could kill himself.

Each method is distasteful, so he crawls into bed to wait for death.

And that's where the adventure begins.
As Nasser-Ali lies in bed, willing himself to die, he reflects on his life.  The film is primarily a series of flashbacks showing how he came to this sorry state.

We see how he became a gifted musician and why he married a woman he never loved.

More importantly, we see the true reason for his death wish.

Too many art films focus on gorgeous visuals at the expense of its theme and characters.

"Chicken With Plums" is not one of them.  There is plenty beneath the surface.

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