*SPOILER ALERT: PLOT POINTS ARE DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS REVIEW*
Yay first review! So today my english class went to see Life of Pi in theaters since we read the book last month. From the trailer, the movie looked way too CGI and fake. Also I was very curious as to what Ang Lee (the director) would do with the film. I went into the theater with very low expectations, but didn’t come out the theater the same way.
Life of Pi is about a 16 year old boy named Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel, who gets stranded in a lifeboat after a shipwreck, with a Bengal Tiger name Richard Parker. The book was excellent and I’m happy to say the same for the movie. The film is narrated by an older Pi telling his story to a writer. I loved the beginning of the movie, which showed Pi growing up at his parents’ zoo in Pondicherry, India. It was all so whimsical and colorful. Pi grows up and he’s now a teenager. My least favorite part of the movie was the fact that he had a girlfriend, unlike the book. There really was no point in this and it was unnecessary; however; I guess every movie needs a little bit of romance.
We get to the shipwreck, and Pi is in the lifeboat. There’s a moment where Pi is swimming underwater right after the ship sinks, and he sees the ship at the bottom of the ocean floor, still lighted up. It was so haunting to me, and weirdly beautiful. He gets on board the lifeboat and now we start to see the plot unfold. Richard Parker comes into the movie and literally jumps out at you. It frightened me so much that I was practically hugging the girl next to me. The special effects proved to be great! Everything looked so real.
The whole time I was thinking how brave the actor who plays Pi (Suraj Sharma) was to have been so close to this huge tiger. Then I remembered that Richard Parker is merely a computer image! Nevertheless, he is scary. Pi’s ordeals in the lifeboat are detailed and correctly match the book. A heartbreaking scene is even added with Pi putting Richard Parker’s head in his lap and gently stroking the fur, and at this I almost cried. Pi’s adventure out on the sea does come to an end, a bit too fast actually. I disliked the ending. It was eh. It could have been better.
There were a few moments of comedy in the film, which was refreshing. The performances in the film were great too. Suraj Sharma who plays Pi was incredible, accurately portraying Pi’s desperation and pain throughout the whole story. His monologue near the end was heart wrenching. Irrfan Khan did well too, playing the “older” Pi. My favorite though was Pi’s mother, played perfectly by Tabu. It’s a small role, but she was everything I pictured Pi’s mother to be and I loved her for that. Overall, I was satisfied with the movie, and Ang Lee did a fantastic job.
ALL IN ALL: Life of Pi is visually stunning with a great cast and plot.