A Review of Chicken and Plums

Hey Jeffersonianers!!! Here is a submission from a student here at Jefferson. Please enjoy.

By: George L.

During the past several weeks Chicken with Plums, a movie based on a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, has been playing at local theatres.  It is a story of a man who has broken his violin and cannot find a new one to adequately replace it.  He then decides to kill himself, and after dismissing the ideas of being run over by a train, falling off a cliff, shooting himself in the head, and poisoning himself, he lies down in bed and waits to die.  Eight days later he is buried.  The movie then recounts each of his eight days, which not only tell of his past, but also tell the futures of his children.
The movie is probably more true to the book than any other movie I have seen, perhaps because Satrapi co-wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film, yet strangely some major details are inexplicably removed.  In the book he plays a tar, a guitar like instrument, but this is switched with a violin in the motion picture.  This can be forgiven though, because few Americans know what a tar is.  However the least understandable detail is two children of Nasser Ali Khan, the musician, are completely removed from the story, this being especially strange because the story is true, Nasser Ali Khan was the uncle of Taji Satrapi, Marjane’s mother.
I found the movie very good, but I still can’t understand why.  No clear plot existed, and all the only moment that was remotely happy and a potential plot resolve is when at Nasser Ali Khan’s funeral  the women whom he had actually loved (Who wasn’t his wife) showed up.  It’s a french film so subtitles are supplied at the bottom which doesn’t exactly help the quality of a movie, yet it was still phenomenal.  The acting was very good, but good acting doesn’t assure a good film.  The only real reason that could of made be think it was so great was the character development.  When the movie finishes Nasser Ali Khan’s life is over, but the observer understands it perfectly.  His childhood, middle age, and eventual death are described perfectly.  Even the critics enjoyed it, and the critics hate all movies.  Chicken with Plums is truly a five star film.


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