Thursday, 20 December 2012

Life of Pi (2012)

Image: 20th Century Fox

From viewing the trailer, Life of Pi has always looked like our kind of film: it features an array of wild animals (we love wild animals), it focuses on the relationship between a man and a Bengal tiger (we adore wild cats), and it’s set in a couple of attractive locations (India and the Pacific Ocean), so, as you can imagine, we were extremely eager to see Ang Lee’s latest picture – in all its 3D and Dolby glory.

Based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name, Life of Pi highlights a boy’s strength and courage as 16-year-old Pi (Suraj Sharma) must fend for himself and survive on a boat in the middle of the ocean after the ship carrying his family to Canada capsizes. Having lost his family in the storm, Pi (Suraj Sharma) is left with only a few unfriendly animals for company, namely Richard Parker, a Bengal tiger.

Life of Pi is a beautifully realised film with excellent performances from the ensemble cast. After an impressive opening few minutes, in which we observe some of natures greatest creatures in a David Attenborough-esque montage, the narration of Pi's life begins, as does a slew of stunning images that take us on an intense journey of enlightenment. The message the movie is carrying isn't for everyone but it doesn't take away from Lee's direction and the actors' performances. Sharma's portrayal of the lost boy is the most impressive. He's given the most to do and handles the responsibility with great conviction. It's an emotional, occasionally humorous journey, and Sharma's performance pulls us along willingly.

Overall it could do with being a bit shorter - some of the scenes with Pi as an adult recounting his story to a journalist do drag, but his story does, nonetheless, hold your interest right to the end. Additionally, we generally don't appreciate the third dimension in movies but, on this particular occasion, it does add a few nice touches to the film, and so we urge you all to submerge yourselves in the experience and go and watch Life of Pi.



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