Monday, 7 January 2013

Life of Pi (2012) - ★★★★★

Director: Ang Lee
Writers: David Magee (screenplay), Yann Martel (novel)
Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Kahn

Not only is this the most visually beautiful film I've ever seen, it also has an incredible story to match it. Life of Pi has used CGI better than any other film before it, and 3D technology that actually made the film better. I hadn't seen a film where 3D enhanced it, until I saw this movie. It's thrilling, it's emotional, and by far the most beautiful movie of all time.

This is a magical adventure story about the life of Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), the son of a zoo keeper. When a reporter asks an adult Pi (Irrfan Kahn) to recount his life story, we are taken on an unreal adventure of survival and friendship. When Pi's family decides to move from India to Canada, they board a ride on a huge freighter. After a huge storm sinks the ship, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboart with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival.

Each scene looks as if it was a painting that was adapted into a film. One scene after another, we're seeing a different and stunning side of nature that we never knew existed. It's strange how enthralling the sheer beauty of the surroundings can be, which is where Ang Lee created his masterpiece.

The emotional substance of the film comes from the relationship between Pi and Richard Parker. For much of the film, it was a battle of wits. Pi needed to get his supplies from the boat that the tiger occupied, which meant having to outsmart it by forcing sea-sickness and painfully waiting for an opportunity. As a vegetarian and all round good person, Pi also wants to keep the tiger alive, so he brings it buckets of rain water and the occasional fish whenever he can.

Slowly, and with training, Pi and Richard Parker learn to adapt to each others company, as if they were becoming friends. For me, my favorite character was Richard the tiger, for I sympathized with his predicament and pain. I don't know how Ang Lee did it, but somehow he gave this computer generated tiger more personality than most characters in film, whilst maintaining its central personality as a tiger. There were moments where the tiger made me laugh, cry, and my heart beat fast. Together, these two make the best odd couple in movie history.

Suraj Sharma's acting was brilliant, and worthy of an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. His emotions really hit home, and brought me back into the reality that he is stuck in the middle of the ocean with little supplies and a tiger that wants to eat him. Irrfan Kahn was also great as the adult Pi recounting the tale, for there were scenes where he'd pause and contemplate things about the past, making his role as the same person feel all the more real and touching.

In the end, we are left to question whether this story is real, or something made up to hide a more sinister and believable story. This was genius. We were given no answers, just the decision of whether we'd prefer to believe the incredible tale of the tiger, or a darker, more twisted story. What's more is that it answers the question as to why people believe in God. It shows that many believe in religion and miracles because it makes it easier to cope with hard times and dark pasts. Along with this incredible tale is a deep and even more beautiful meaning, which is what makes Life of Pi a masterpiece.

Ang Lee has once again created a perfect film. He created a masterpiece with Sense and Sensibility, then went on to make another masterpiece Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, then went on to create another masterpiece 'Brokeback Mountain,' and now has created a masterpiece that may very well trump them all. Life of Pi is the most visually breathtaking film of all time, with a story to match it and a soul that carries it into greatness.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, I've found Life of Pi (2012) to be a visually breathtaking film that is one of the best films that I have ever seen. Pi was a powerful role model, and a vegetarian. I am, too. And I admire how powerful a role model Pi is.

    I haven't written my review yet, I never did see it in cinemas, however I bought the DVD and the OST, and it is definitely one of the most spiritually enriching films that I have ever seen. Thank you, kind sir, for your kind thoughts.