This film has its merits, without question. It is at least worth talking about. It is based on the 2001 novel by the same name. I am unfamiliar with the book, but apparently it was long been sought after as material for a feature film. “Life of Pi” is a narrative told through a middle-aged Indian named Pi to a novelist that is intrigued by his story. The novelist is further intrigued by the cryptic message at the beginning of the tale that by the end of it “you will believe in God”. Like I said, the film has merit.
The story is intriguing and we are pulled right in. There is a lot of CGI and a lot of stunning visuals that simply are breathtaking. There is a lot of artistry at work in the film. Ang Lee won for Best Director for this film, and his talent shows a LOT in this film. I’m not very keen on the over-usage of visual effects in the film, but it is gorgeous to see. There’s a lot of stunning imagery throughout the film and the film literally looks positively splendid.
The acting is odd. It takes you a little while to grow accustomed to the accents used in the film. I really enjoyed the older Pi (played by Irrfan Khan) as he narrates the tale. As for the rest of it, it honestly isn’t much there. We have Pi on a boat with a Bengal Tiger. He talks. The tiger doesn’t. Fortunately, “Life of Pi” takes you backwards in time to flesh out the tale. It isn’t so much an explanation of only how Pi came to survive a shipwreck after several years. It is rather – truly about his life.
As for the ending – no spoilers here, I promise – what I can say is that it was effective. At the end of film, you are presented with a choice as to how you would like to end the film. It is an uncommon way to end a film and I am sure it left a sour taste in many movie-goers mouths. I think it was pretty cool, and certainly thought-provoking. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting!
As for a recommendation, I can say that it is a worthwhile watch. It deserved its place among the Oscar nominees for this past year, surely. I am happy that Ang won, but I am equally confused as I am happy. If the Academy wanted to acknowledge his work, they did so, but why then did they go for “Argo” for Best Picture? Between these two films, “Life of Pi” is without question the superior film.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE