Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is an extraordinary film, one of marvelous beauty, of deeper meaning, and a reminder of the power of storytelling. In a society where rational thinking and Science dominate and diminish any belief in God, this story stands out (in the words of Barack Obama) as “an elegant proof of God”. There are few films as complete as this one, beautiful to watch with an ending that will stay with you well after the credits roll.
Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Tandon, Gauten Belur) survives a ship wreck that claims the lives of his whole family leaving him stranded at sea with an Adult Bengal Tiger. Pi had been leaving India for Canada taking all the animals from his family Zoo when their ship sinks in a storm. Pi must survive not just the elements adrift at sea, but live with a fierce animal in the confines of a small life boat.
The events of Pi‘s life at sea are relayed to us by the adult Pi while being interviewed for a book. It’s an essential plot device for the stories ending and it gives the story a sense of realism, much like a documentary. So much of what happens is unbelievable and extraordinary, but this technique helps it from getting out of hand. The film relies so heavily on the awe of the story and its handled very well.
It must be noted this is a particularly special film visually and it deserves to be seen on the big screen. The sea at night, the glowing Jelly fish, all of it it magic and a real treat in 3D. In fact this might just be one of the best 3D films I have ever seen, a film with a real reason to be in this format. I truly hope Ang Lee and cinematographer Claudio Miranda are honored for their efforts.
The film does bog down in the middle, it is deliberately slow paced and towards the end you can feel that it isn’t going anywhere. But hold on, because this is a film with one of the most poignant endings of recent memory. It will stay with you well after you have left the cinema.
Life of Pi is one not to be missed for all sorts of reasons. I would genuinely love to write a lot more about this film, but for fear of spoiling what was a wonderful ending I’ll leave it here.