After watching Persepolis the movie, it is evident that the movie and the book are very different. While the movie is much easier to follow, the book gives a much more in-depth view into Marji’s opinions and feelings throughout the story. There are many scenes that the producer chose not to include in the movie that were included in the book perhaps because of time-constraints, or even a different intention for the story. It seems as though the book really emphasizes the relationships between the characters and their interactions with the war. There is strong character development and we are able to see obvious changes in characters throughout the entirety of the book. But, much of the movie was focused on teaching and explaining to the viewers what exactly was happening in Iran and many crucial character development scenes were cut out. The most notable one that I can remember is the fact that her mother never came to visit Marji when she moved. Because of this, it seems as though Marji has completely separated from her parents and has very little contact with them- she is virtually on her own. The characters and their relationships with their surroundings and family/friends creates a gap for us in getting to know and feel for the characters throughout the movie.
On the other hand, one relationship that was maintained in both the book and the movie is the close bond between Marji and her grandmother, ultimately contributing to a much greater understanding of these characters. They have a different bond than anyone else in the story. They get into trouble together (spilling the wine down the toilet), tell each other their secrets and feelings about life and society, and even grow as a person from the bond that they share. This relationship was highlighted tremendously throughout the movie all leading up to the ending where the jasmine flowers are flowing across the screen. Perhaps the producer wanted to show that Marji was being liberated from her old life and starting a new one. Each night Marji’s grandmother would take off her bra and let the flowers out, which for her seemed like a freeing experience. The producer’s stylistic choice in having the relationship between Marji and her grandmother continue until the end of the movie reminds the viewer that through everything, Marji’s grandmother was the only one that Marji looked up to and got along with. Similarly, this bond was strongly emphasized throughout the book, with the last lines being about her grandmother. I really liked how the strong bond between Marji and her grandmother was kept in the book and movie.
Overall, I do think that the movie does a great job in portraying the book but if there had been more development of the characters and the movie took things a little slower, perhaps we would feel the emotions that the characters experience like we are able to in the book.