Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: Life of Pi

                                     A Film About As Complex As The "Pi" Equation

       There seems to be a bit of a trend with minimalistic filmmaking: Films with fewer main characters, fewer set pieces, and even one or two settings. While this film may be filmed on a grand scale, it still somewhat fits this trend as it mostly deals with a boy stranded at sea and it does it successfully.

     Life of Pi is about a 16-year-old Indian boy named Piscine "Pi" Patel (Suraj Sharma) who while traveling with his family and father's zoo to Canada, becomes stranded on a lifeboat at sea after he becomes shipwrecked and his family dies. He is then left with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker and together, they try to survive at sea.

       What I Liked About It:
   First off, I loved the way this movie is shot. Director Ang Lee, who also gave us Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, shoots this movie beautifully and the visuals are just astounding and majestic. When I was watching this film, I found it hard to believe the same guy who made this film also made Brokeback Mountain and to me, it just shows how Ang Lee really blends into his artistry. I also thought it was neat how the film and Lee make the tiger seem like a character in the film. It was unique how the film would make me invested in the bond between a boy and his animal.

    Another thing that I really liked was how the film is a visual spectacle that manages to weave in themes of spirituality and God. Since Pi is devoted to God, when you watch the film, it makes you wonder whether the perils Pi goes through is God's way of testing him and his will to survive. But one thing that I also wanted to point out was the performance from Suraj Sharma as Pi. It amazes me how a young man who had never done a film before or have any previous acting experience stars in a film where he is front and center and is able to carry all that weight on his shoulders and deliver an outstanding performance. Hopefully, we see more from this young actor and I hope he has a bright future ahead of him.

      What I Didn't Like About It:

   Overall, Life of Pi is a spiritual visual spectacle that is a feast for the eyes. It is not only a spiritual experience and a visual experience, but demonstrates how you can have a grand scale film with minimal characters and set pieces, just like last year's Gravity. This is one I would highly recommend, whether you are a fan of films on a grander scale or not. It is not to be missed.

Consensus: 4.5/5