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MOVIE – The Life Of PI

| 3 January 2013 | Reply

The Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee, Starring Suraj Sharma, Tabu, Adil Hussain
Reviewed by Dani Deville
Released 1 January 2013
5/5

The Life Of Pi movie poster

Based on the acclaimed novel by Yann Martel of the same name, The Life of Pi tells the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, or Pi, a young South Indian boy named after a French swimming pool. As a 16 year old, Pi, a zookeeper’s son, is the sole survivor of a shipwreck which kills his family and destroys everything he ever knew. Pi, alone, survives 227 days at sea on a lifeboat with an adult, male tiger.

The tale is narrated by an adult Pi, recounting his saga to an author, promising him that his story will make him believe in God. It is a story of survival, loss of innocence, hope, freedom and faith.

For those of you who are already familiar with the book, I should point out that I hadn’t read Martel’s novel before I saw the movie, so it’s impossible for me to provide any kind of comparison.  However, I am happy that I went into the movie having no knowledge of the book or the story. It enabled me to enjoy the incredible cinematography without preoccupying myself in the intertextuality.  Instead I indulged myself in the dazzling and at times overwhelming beauty of Ang Lee’s work.

There were scenes in this movie so profoundly breathtaking that they moved me to tears. Ang Lee’s long, sweeping shots of the open ocean at sunrise contrast beautifully with the shaky, fast moving camera work during the storm and shipwreck scenes, which masterfully render the characters’ sensation of chaos and fear enabling the audience to experience it with them.

Adding to this splendid cinematography, Suraj Sharma is brilliant as Pi, Tabu is utterly charming as Gita Patel (Pi’s mother) and Adil Hussain is an aptly impressive and strong father figure as Santosh Patel (Pi’s father).

I am reluctant to describe the story in more detail as I do not want to give away anything of this masterpiece of modern cinema. All that is left to say is that this is possibly the most glorious and devastatingly spectacular film you will see this year, providing a perfect backdrop to this touching and deeply philosophical fable.

I consider myself a movie buff and I ravenously feed off film as an AFL spectator gorges on pies and beer. I am insatiable. Yet I rarely get as excited about any movie as I have about the Life of Pi. The first thing I did on returning from the avant premiere was hop on the internet and book tickets to the next viewing. After that, I booked tickets to a third screening as soon as they became available. I seriously cannot get enough of this film and sincerely believe that this is one which will enchant virtually anyone.

Shane

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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