Pi is an irrational number most commonly seen as 3.14. This is what I thought that the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel was about. Mathematics have nothing to do with the story of a boy shipwrecked at sea with only a Bengal tiger to serve as a companion.
When you read Life of Pi you have cinematic views in your head but it seems like an impossible novel to turn into a movie. When it was a project, the film was turned down by several big name directors before being picked up by Ang Lee. This director already has quite a résumé: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Sense and Sensibility; Brokeback Mountain. It seems that combining the epic scape of his martial arts movie and the tenderness of the Jane Austen film, he was the only one who could pull off a movie like this.
Piscine Molitor Patel is the main character and names himself “Pi” after some school boys turn his name into a joke. His father owns a zoo and he grew up inside of the menagerie. Before leaving India for Canada he finds God. First through as a Hindu, then as a Christian, and then a Muslim. For as offensive as this could get, “Life of Pi” manages to create a feeling of euphoria as Pi journeys from religion to religion trying to find out who God really is.
The movie is shot like the book is written—an author whose last book was a disaster interviews Pi Patel about what happened at sea. Irrfan Khan plays the adult Pi and is very honest in his interpretation of the character. Suraj Sharma is the younger version of Pi and gives a performance similar to Tom Hanks in “Cast Away”.
I have never been a fan of 3D movies. It just seems greedy to film something that probably won’t be that amazing in 3D just to make a few extra bucks. The only film that I had seen that made the 3D somewhat worth while was Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo”.
“Life of Pi” blows its competition out of the water when it comes to the 3D in this movie. It is unparalleled and glorious. The first 3D movies that I saw employed the use of the technology is cheesy ways like spitting up food into the camera or reaching through the screen. The way “Life of Pi” uses it, adds to the visual literature of the film. It’s subtle and beautiful.
Seeing as they couldn’t place an actor in a boat with a tiger, CGI takes over and is flawless through the movie. There are times when it’s unreal to think about how far the technology has come in such a short amount of time.
The tiger is the supporting cast of the film. Cheekily named Richard Parker, you begin to see emotion in the tiger like Pi does. The animal has a soul to him.
For such a unique film, it certainly leave quite an impact on the viewer. This is one of the best films of 2012 by far.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars