Friday, October 5
I had the opportunity to preview Chicken with Plums (Poulet aux Prunes) in anticipation of the film opening this weekend at Tara. As a francophile, I rubbed my hands in delight at the chance! I feel like French film has a specific quirky and sometimes wacky flavor, and this one slotted into that weird and wonderful category.
The film was produced and directed by the same brains behind Persepolis, and is based on another graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. Some familiar faces you film buffs will recognize include Mathieu Almaric (of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Munich) and Jamel Debbouze (of Amelie fame. Also, I adore him).
Set in 1958 in Tehran, the film spans 8 days in Nasser Ali Khan's life. Following a spectacular career traveling the world as a renowned musician, Nasser Ali falls into a melancholic state when his violin is destroyed. As his passion in life is broken, so is his spirit, and we are taken on an interesting ride as he lays down and chooses death over life without it.
This is when it starts to get weird.
You know that expression, how your life "passes before your eyes" before you die? In this film, we are able to experience that blur of emotions, memories, triumphs, and missed opportunities through Nasser Ali's eyes. And we have the leisure of viewing them laid out neatly, like comic strips, over his self-imposed demise.
We are treated to scenes from Nasser Ali's childhood, the backstory of his crumbling marriage, a very Ghost-of-Christmas-Yet-to-Come look into his childrens' futures, and some very poignant scenes that stitch the entire story together start to finish.
I won't spoil the entire story for interested parties! I will tell you that for me, it was the right mix of sadness, romance, and magic to keep me hooked. Fans of Talk to Her, A Very Long Engagement, and obviously, Persepolis will enjoy this film--for the history, the quirks, and the love story.
Go see it with your best friend, sister, or mom. This could also make for a really good first date movie--hold hands during the romantic bits!
Now showing at UA Tara in Atlanta; in select theatres nationwide.
Financial compensation was not received for this post. Access to film and media materials were provided from Sony Pictures Classics. Opinions are my own.