Well here it is my second favorite film of last year, the mighty Life of Pi. First of let me start by saying this is one of the hardest reviews I have had to right I don't know where to begin, or where to end.
What is Life Of Pi? Life of Pi is a novel that has won many awards for its Author Yann Martel, it follows the journey of a young Indian man stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a life boat with a Bengal Tiger as his only company. Let me tell you I would not fancy that!. Because of the nature of the story and the interaction between Pi and the Tiger, many said the Novel was un-filmable... well the hadn't counted on the visionary direction of Ang Lee. Ang Lee has shown many a times how great a director he is in the past, he has brought us such classics as: Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, (lets just pretend that Hulk movie with Eric Bana never happened even tho his use of camera angles and comic board story telling was great!), so in my mind he was the perfect director to bring us this film.
The film starts off with Pi as an adult (Irrfan Khan) telling a unnamed writer (played by Rafe Spall) about how he got his name Pi, this leads Pi to tell us about his incredible journey. The story starts off with Pi growing up and been in wonder to the world around him (joining every religion going in the process!). His family own a Zoo and Pi loves growing up there, he discovers love as well as religion, but his innocence is soon lost when one day his father shows him what Tigers are really like!. My only flaw in the youth parts is, it sort of drags but, Ang Lee keeps it held together with beautiful camera shots/angles. The family has to leave India due to financial difficulty, and decide to move (Zoo and all) to Canada. Now this is where I am stuck I am not going to write anymore on the story because it needs to be seen and can be easily spoiled!. But a series of unfortuante events lead to Pi been on the lifeboat we see in all the trailers and posters, and thus the journey of discovery and as Pi tells us the journey of self belief and in God plays out. The friendship that builds in such melancholy circumstances between boy and tiger is wonderful!. He starts off in fear of him, but grows to love him and feel like looking after the tiger and keeping his eye on him, is what is keeping him alive. Pi is pretty much fighting for his survival, but not just from the Tiger, hunger and thirst soon play havoc on his mind, and changes his whole personality and outlook on life.
The acting is amazing, Pi played by Suraj Sharma is wonderful, to say he is a unknown he puts his whole heart and soul into this movie, Ang Lee and this young actor are a dream team together, the emotion he shows with such raw intensity. To think when he was acting he was on a green stage most of time on his own, in a boat, is just an amazing accomplishment, no wonder Ang walked away with best Director oscar for his work.
Now I have to talk about the digital effects, and wow I have never seen anything like this film. There is scenes where sky and sea meet in reflection and are shown with such vivid colours, we have lush sunrises of yellow and white fused together its just sheer joy to behold, the night scenes of blues and black are the perfect contrast to the daylight, all in all the use of colour in this film is just mesmerizing. The Tiger, whose name I am not going to use (one again do not want to spoil), is such a wonderful creation, to say this character doesn't speak we cannot but help get attached and feel for him much like Pi himself does, there was parts of the film where i thought "My God this CG (Computer Generated) Tiger is acting better than a lot of actors do!! The emotion these guys put into the Tigers eyes is just amazing he comes across almost human, its like we see him as Pi wants us to see him in his story.
I have seen a hell of a lot of movies old, new, foreign language, silent, take it from me I have seen a lot, but I cannot recall ever seeing anything like Life Of Pi, this journey is just amazing, I feel you don't watch Life of Pi you live Life of Pi. I am by no means religious but I fully understood the message this film was trying to send, hope and belief will get you through life..... even if you are stuck on a boat with a Tiger (on second thoughts maybe not in real life). I am so sorry for my small review for this its just such a hard film to write for, all i can say is please see this film you need to experience it, its not often we get films like this, so we need to treasure it, watch it and get yourself "on board" for a journey of a life time.