Persepolis—Sony Pictures Classics (Blu-ray)
I really wanted to see this film during its limited theatrical run but unfortunately it wasn't playing anywhere near me that was convenient. Persepolis is one of those rare films that uses animation in an adult way, and I don't mean sex and violence. This is a political message told from a girl growing up in war torn Iran during the eighties and early nineties. It shows the back and forth of the government from the eyes of a young girl watching friends and family go to war and deal with the religious issues of that nation. The animation is very effective in conveying themes and ideas that may not have been as interesting with live action. The black and white style is also a nice touch and provides some very cool stylizations.
Persepolis is mainly a black and white feature with some shades of gray thrown in. There is some limited color in a few scenes, but they are few and far between. The animation style is simple but very effective and I was impressed with the lack of banding in the transfer. Detail is excellent and I didn't notice any line twitter or ringing at all despite the very hard transitions from black to white. Depth of image is good but not quite on par with some of the other animated features available in HD. This would be a great title to showcase the importance of contrast, especially in regards to ANSI contrast.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is mainly dialogue driven but the score does a nice job of opening up the soundstage. Sound effects sound realistic enough but the sound design is pretty cut and dry. I loved the music selections throughout this film and they went a long way in portraying the time period and fitting the themes of the film.
Extras include some scene comparisons as well as a behind the scenes look at the production of the film. You also get some festival coverage and a feature commentary.
Persepolis wasn't quite what I expected going in but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The filmmakers provided a very interesting way to convey a message that probably wouldn't have been quite as effective in a live action piece. The political/religious nature of the storyline may limit its audience, but the A/V presentation does all that it can to deliver the goods.