Thursday, August 02, 2012
Chicken With Plums
As a young man violinist Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric) met Irâne (Golshifteh Farahani) and felt she was the one and only[clarification needed] for him. Unfortunately her father pursued different plans and forced her into a wedding with an army officer. The dismayed musician could only carry on because his mentor gave him a special violin and advised him to sublimate his affliction. Consequently he became a renowned artist and eventually married another woman. Nonetheless in his mind he is still with Irâne. When his lack of affection for his family leads to serious dispute between him and his wife she destroys his beloved violin. It strikes him he is no longer up to make music as he did before and therefore he is longing for death. After he has in vain tried to take his life in many ways, he decides to simply lie down until death will have him. But before that happens he is awash in visions of the past and the film lets the spectator accompany him on this bizarre and strangely beautiful journey.
Jay Weissberg wrote in Variety that "The same winning balance of seriousness and humor that made Persepolis such a hit works equally well in Chicken With Plums", and elaborated: "What Satrapi and Paronnaud have really achieved is an evocation of a lost world, much as they did in Persepolis. They've beautifully re-created the fiercely proud, Western-leaning life of the Persian middle class of the 1950s, all constructed in Berlin's Babelsberg studios with the kind of atmospheric quality of Fellini's Cinecitta-constructed Romagna[.] ... Though comparisons may be made with the exaggerated stylings of Amelie, the people in Chicken With Plums eventually lose that sense of artificiality, or rather it becomes superseded by real emotion."