A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor … a fearsome Bengal tiger. Based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel.
What I thought of it:
Like millions of others, I loved the book and this eagerly awaited film had been a long time coming – fans have waited eleven years for this adaptation and there has been much gnawing of fingernails during that time, worrying over whether or not there would ever even be an adaptation, and whther it would do justice to the novel we all loved so well. (For the record, the novel by Yann Martel is credited with turning my non-reading sister into a total bookworm – that’s how good it is!).
Visually, the movie is nothing short of stunning and I’m willing to bet that in 3D it is breathtaking. Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger stranded on the lifeboat with Pi, looks strikingly, scarily real – it’s some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen, and the whole look of the film is consistently beautiful – Ang Lee really does have an eye for this sort of thing and his direction is second to none. The majority of the film rests, therefore, on the shoulders of one actor (Sharma) who handles this responsibility very well, turning in a convincingly compelling performance, which must be all the more difficult for constantly reacting to a creature who is not really there.
There are a lot of very dramatic moments, but the switching back and forth between the action at sea and the older Pi relating the story to a writer, can be a little distracting at times and I feel the film suffers slightly for it. Although almost entirely faithful to the book, I felt that the opening and closing sections with the adult Pi would have been enough.
Nominated for 11 Oscars:
- Best Motion Picture
- Best Director (Ang Lee)
- Best Adapted Screenplay
- Best Original Song (Bombay Jayshree)
- Best Original Score
- Best Cinematography
- Best Visual Effects
- Best Sound Mixing
- Best Sound Editing
- Best Production Design
- Best Editing
Largely overlooked in the artistic nominations, Life of Pi is sure to pick up a few technical ones to make up for that. It would certainly deserve recognition for the visual effects at the very least.