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Wow! I had never seen anything like this one! It’s a visual splendor to say the least. After watching the film, you’re going to exit the theaters wondering how on earth did they create the Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker, and make him interact with the main character, Pi, and your mouth will remain open from taking in all that 3D wonder, you’ll be left in awe. It truly is the best use of 3D since Avatar and Hugo and that’s no joke. LIFE OF PI is an exquisite, terrifying and integrated journey that puts all your senses to the test. This is evidence of technology finally catching up to the storytelling and it’s an absolutely great work of art…
With LIFE OF PI, director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”; “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Ang Lee has come back! Which is good, considering Taking Woodstock was a huge disappointment, in my book. The master filmmaker who brought us Sense And Sensibility, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Brokeback Mountain is back on his top form and with LIFE OF PI, he explores questions of faith.
Some may see it as just another survival film, some may see it as an Indian version of Cast Away, only this time instead of volleyball, the person is accompanied by a full grown Bengal Tiger. Be that as it may, I think LIFE OF PI’s thematic and beautiful arrangements are not only Oscar worthy but it’s also the stuff that will be talked about for years to come.
I’ve never read Yann Martel’s book that became the basis for this film, some who’ve read it did tell me that that when they saw the trailers, they were taken aback because they said the imagery was not as strong in the book. Perhaps Ang Lee took more creative freedom than he should’ve, but in this case I think it’s appropriate, especially in making you the audience feel how isolated Pi is in the middle of that vast ocean.
The winner is definitely the VFX which I’m sure would easily get an Oscar nod. Just the fact that they managed to put together real tiger and digital tiger and make it convincingly interact with Pi is unbelievable. Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe Richard Parker the tiger.
Actor Suraj Sharma who plays young Pi, is a force to be reckoned with. Veteran actor Irrfan Kahn delivers a best supporting worthy performance. If Oscars doesn’t recognize Kahn, even with a nod, then there’s something definitely wrong with the system.
I don’t believe this film is preachy, it’s not trying to shove a single faith or many faiths down our throat. Will it make you believe in God? To each his own, but somebody up there must really love Pi.
GRADE: 5 out of 5
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