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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Life Of Pi

Ang Lee crafts a visually indulging 3D experience

My second review also originates from a novel; a huge trend in Hollywood. If inheriting an accomplished book to the big screen reveals a result such as this one, I say keep them rolling.
An Indian boy, a Bengal tiger and a storm to weather helps develop this imaginative story. A writer (Rafe Spall) visits the home of Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan), a man with an apparent "unbelievable" story to tell. Verbally retracing the memories of his childhood, Pi's greatest memory of his father and the zoo he ran is what eventually leads to a tragic incident..
Financial problems hit the family and force Pi's father (Adil Hussain) into gathering the animals and sailing to Canada where he hopes to set up a new zoo.  However, a younger Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) seems reluctant to leave India with hopes of returning one day. The movie is visually enhanced when a terrifying storm in the middle of the pacific ocean awaits the death of some, and survival of Pi.
Pi is stunned and some-what hesitant when the boat begins to flood but finds himself on a small boat drifting into the abyss of the ocean. The movie grabs your emotions as the boat as well as the animals on board are swallowed by the sea, as Pi watches is whole life sink beneath him.
The story is then centred on the task at hand as Pi fights for survival against both the ocean and the carnivores in his company.  Although the presence of an orangutan and a wild hyena can be dealt with, it is the daunting discovery that his fathers Bengal tiger known as Richard Parker has also survived the wreck. Pi has the extraordinary task of keeping himself alive as well as taming Richard, who to Pi's luck, is getting very hungry.

Ang Lee's novel adaption nit-picks at religion and the portrayal of God depending on your beliefs. Pi represents a teenage boy who prior to his situation, he carries three religions. That is where the beauty of Pi's story is revealed as an incident such as Pi's results in an overly dramatic yet a once in a life times story that people may rightly choose to believe in...but rarely do. Pi continues to express his story in the belief that god helps his survival instincts and that it is he who decides the faith of both himself and Richard Parker.

We see through-out, a desperate attempt at friendship with no love lost as Pi fights for territory of the boat. Suraj Sharma weighs in a fantastic performance as the teenage Pi and will be up for an Oscar although whether Ang Lee's instalment makes it that far is another question (it should). Besides from the centred portrayal from Suraj, the movie is a stepping stone in the visuals department. A rare 3D experience for me and will be for most. From a montage of animals at the intro, right through to the meerkats, wales, the species of the ocean and creatures unknown, Ang Lee has created a plethora of sequences that you will not believe to be CGI. The night time visuals alone make this movie the best and most enjoyable creation I have seen in a few years. Some of the scenes are simply breathtaking.

Life of Pi is getting rave reviews however you will read the odd "troll" talking about the religious perspectives and signs an what the movie truly means. Yes, like I said it supports a rightly so concept of religion but don't think too much of it. For the magical story and enhanced visuals alone will have you lost for words. Maybe afterwards one can nit-pick at the movies true meaning although maybe ones opinion can be pointed more so at the book, by Yann Martel.

There is a climax, a quite unexpected one might I add but an acceptance of brilliance in my view. I have read some critical disappointments in terms of the end but like I said above, if you understand a movie for what it really is and the experience you feel at that moment in time, you won't need to torment your brain too much.

Overall: A fantastic story as expected. Ang Lee brings to life a visual masterpiece and manages to recruit a fine Young actor in Suraj Sharma. Two and a half hours in a 3D cinematic roller coaster, I never wanted it to end!



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