Life of Pi is getting some Oscar buzz and after seeing it I can completely see why. Life of Pi is visually stunning on top of having a great story. A brief introduction to the plot is as follows: A struggling writer in need of a story to help regain his popularity turns to an Pi Patel for a story of adventure that “will make you believe in God.” Pi’s story starts with his upbringing in the zoo his father owned but is sold to pay for an opportunity to move the family west to Canada. A storm flips the boat and the only survivors are Pi, and orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and a tiger named Richard Parker. Pi’s faith and will are put to the test as he struggles with nature and the animals on the boat with him. Click here for the trailer
Ang Lee tells a very thought provoking story. Having never read the book I can only go by what is in the movie but with all emotional ups and downs that Pi experiences with Richard Parker the tiger I could not help being captivated by it. The struggle of power with the tiger and the attempts to bond with the animal was so well done that it does not feel drawn out like I thought it would have been. By the way I found Pi’s attitude towards Parker to be very similar to the relationship Tom Hanks developed with Wilson the volleyball in Cast Away. Pi would say Richard Parker’s name whenever he would address him just like Hanks did when he talked to Wilson.
Not going to lie there were times I forgot that Richard Parker was CGI and the same goes for a lot of the other visual effects in the 3D format. It is not on the level of Avatar by any means but he still creates a very real and beautiful world that you buy into all the vibrant colors. I am a little never about how it might feel in 2D however. I felt the same way about Avatar. Watching it in 2D on my television at home, though still enjoyable, the movie just lost some of that in theater magic.
As far as the acting is concerned, I cannot believe Suraj Sharma is not getting the attention he deserves for this movie. You can see him wearing down while getting stronger at the same time and I would easily give him at least a nomination but I might be alone there. Irrfan Khan for as little screen time as he gets is still phenomenal and I really started to believe that the story he was telling was his own.
Overall, Life of Pi was a very enjoyable theater experience. The only drawback to me was that some of the scenes are simply in the movie to utilize the 3D so I fear in future watches I will be a little less impressed with the effects in 2D. I give Life of Pi an 8/10.