Review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi (Dir.: Ang Lee; Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Gerard Depardieu et al.)

Life of Pi is the latest offering from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee. The film is based on the novel with an identical title by Yann Martel.

Life of Pi is one terrific example of being a meaningful film which does not get immersed in its indulgence of visual splendour despite being amazing in its abundant offerings of stunning cinematic tricks replete with the latest that technology can offer. This was the first movie in 3D that I watched, having held back till now waiting for something which met the above criteria, and I am happy I did!

.. a meaningful film which does not get immersed in its indulgence of visual splendour despite being amazing in its abundant offerings of stunning cinematic tricks replete with the latest that technology can offer

The story is about how a teenaged boy, nicknamed Pi, survives 227 days at sea on a lifeboat with scarce supplies of food following a shipwreck. This remarkable story is rendered fantastic by the fact that for the major part of this period, this boy had an adult Bengal tiger as his only company on the boat.

The film brings this story to life into a glorious adventure film mid-ocean and 3D does add another dimension to the portrayal, literally as well as figuratively. Especially noteworthy are two sequences of a school of flying fish storming the boat, and a nocturnal sighting of a whale, gigantic in its size and beauty.

The cast includes Irrfan Khan and Tabu, two notable actors from India, who bring all their skills to the table. The newcomer in the lead role is excellent too. To conclude, Life of Pi is an entertaining and remarkable depiction of an imagined pie from the life of an otherwise ordinary man with an interesting tale to tell.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Of course, the story has more to it than the parable-like surface. The boy and the tiger can remind one of Calvin and Hobbes, but this was far more grim, far more intense, though the interactions had their fun at times as the unusual bond gradually grew in adversarial circumstances forcing a semi-symbiotic existence.
The pinnacle of the tale surely lies in the revelation of an alternate version, which clearly seems far more credible but also difficult to digest at the same time. Interestingly, Ang Lee chooses to have only a verbal narration of this version rather than a visual representation of this second string of events, perhaps playing to the theme of this being too unpalatable to qualify for a full-fledged normal viewing.

Life of Pi IMDb link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *