Life Of Pi

"Faith is a house with many rooms."

In 2006, I read an outstanding novel called Life Of Pi. Although many of the story's details and nuances faded from my memory over the years, I never forgot the book's central premise: a boy finds himself trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger after a vicious shipwreck. In the back of my mind, I've always wondered if the book could ever be brought to the big screen in a successful manner, and if Hollywood would ever attempt such a gargantuan task. Well done Ang Lee, you've accomplished the impossible.

The first thing that springs to my mind is just how darned gorgeous the film looks. It's a crowning achievement in utterly perfect CGI and technical prowess. Not once throughout the film did I question Richard Parker (for the uninitiated that would be the infamous tiger) and the computer generated effects utilized to bring him to life. Moreover, the use of 3D only enhances the experience (the first time I wasn't annoyed by those darn glasses) and adds to the immersive experience. The cinematography is just plain stunning and utterly befitting of a story of this magnitude and scope. There's a reason Life of Pi has been nominated for so many Oscars this year and it deserves the acclaim wholeheartedly.

For the majority of its running time, the film rests on Suraj Sharma's shoulders and he does an impeccable job as the willful Pi. The boy capably exudes the spectrum of emotions Pi undergoes while trapped on the boat while effectively acting against himself (the tiger is CGI after all). It's an impressive feat as the film would have collapsed with a lesser talent.

The film's ending (which I will not spoil here) is incredible. It does a spectacular job of making you question not only the film's premise, but your own beliefs concerning religion and doubt. There are few endings that are this impactful and this is one resolution that deserves to be experienced and debated.

- A first-rate and thought-provoking adaptation that's marvelously directed and beautifully executed. Highly recommended.

4.5 out of 5 tigers on a boat.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.

4 comments:

celticmarc said...

Meow (excuse me, I love cats, big and small).

A long time, ago, I saw this book and wanted to add it my personal library. I've put fiction on the side for now, hence the non buying, but after your review, I will both see the movie and get the book.

CrazyCris said...

It was indeed a beautiful movie, absolutely gorgeous and some of the best 3D work I've seen in a while! But I had trouble connecting with the story, and it left me kind of empty after the fact...
The ending kind of ruined it for me.

But damn did they do a good job with Richard Parker!!!

TheShadowKnows said...

I never read the book, but I saw this on the big screen and it is indeed beautiful. In some ways I thought it was ten pounds of plot in a twenty pound bag, but that's actually not that bad for a Hollywood movie. I would recommend it for the visuals alone, especially on the big screen.

celticmarc said...

Oh.

Wow, wow AND wow.

I've just seen it, in 3D, and in the french version (because I was with one of my dearest colleagues-friends-sisters) (I usually, by far, to go see the original version).

Seeing such a powerful film in the middle of the work week (hey ! I have to get up early tomorrow !) has made me.......completely forgot(ten) my crazy (yes, Kafkaesque) office. (And I recommend it people : change your habits; it's good for your Soul and mind.)

The room was extraordinarily and respectfully silent. Haven't "heard" that in a while in a movie theatre. Is the 3D necessary ? Yes and no. Yes for the emphasis of the more poetic scenes (hum, aquatic Avatar anyone ?)(even the end of Titanic) and no for the story. Gimmick ? A bit yes. (Only Avatar is in REAL 3D) (Oh ! A 3D version of Jurassic Park now ! Come on !)

Kudos Mister Lee. Kudos.

And....being a Montreal native, always cool to recognize the landmarks and places where they filmed. Even cooler when I go there myself.

3D or not, go see it. A must. Wow.

(Oh, I was bit "disappointed" NOT to see Ben Linus enjoying watching Pi writing down the numbers of Pi......) (can I say 3 verbs in "ing' in a row ?) (I had to add this; Pi has become my fave number)

Nest step ? The book.