From creative genius Ang Lee comes a breathtaking and groundbreaking film about Piscine Molitor Patel (Suraj Sharma)—or simply Pi for short—a young man who survives a tragedy at sea and is hurtled into an epic voyage to self-discovery and maturity. Along the journey he forms an astonishing and unexpected connection with an unlikely companion named Richard Parker.
Richard Parker is not in any way human because he is in fact a Bengal tiger.
Life of Pi is an adaptation of a beloved Man Booker Prize-winning novel of Yann Martel. The fact that this novel is labeled by readers as “unfilmable,” only made Director Ang Lee strive to perfect the movie adaptation. Boy, Ang Lee has done above and beyond and made Life of Pi a feast for the eyes.
Though majority of the film focuses on the adventures, mishaps and life-changing events of Pi and Richard Parker as they remain stranded on a boat in the middle of nowhere, the first part of the film—wherein Pi is being depicted as a family-oriented, intelligent, adventurous, and religious young man—is beautifully showcased, while the central, framing way of Pi being interviewed by a writer gelled the whole movie, making it more lifelike and grounded.
Looking away from the absolutely brilliant story, I can only say that this movie would look different had it filmed 10 years ago. The CGI technology today only made this film a visual masterpiece. From the terrifying storm, to the vast and endless horizon of water and sky, to the star-filled night, to the myriad of different animals, and to the tiger itself, everything is spectacular. By the way, Richard Parker should have been nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
A strong Oscar contender? I don’t think so. Life of Pi is being overshadowed by too much tough competition this year. Having said that, I think Ang Lee may have a shot. From Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee has done it again. I never thought that he is the perfect director to actually pull this off, but he did and he did it wonderfully.
4.5 out of 5 stars