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    December 24, 2012

    MOVIE REVIEW: LIFE OF PI

    In 2012, Ang Lee directs another masterpiece to be added into his rich resume as a filmmaker and achieves a near-impossibility by turning one of the “unfilmable” novels into a film that is both stunning and bold. Life of Pi, along with this year’s other “unfilmable” novels Cloud Atlas, possess major uphill challenges for the writers to script a workable screenplay, not to mention also that it is the most difficult movie to sell. The combination of Ang Lee as the director, with David Magee adapting the screenplay and a believable performance by Suraj Sharma and Irfan Khan as the titular character, Life of Pi is a true winning prodigy of the year.



    Genre: Drama/Action/Adventure
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 29 November 2012
    Running Time: 127 minutes
    Distributor: 20th Century Fox
    Director: Ang Lee
    Screenplay: David Magee; based on 'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel
    Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Gerard Depardieu, Rafe Spall

    Plot: Director Ang Lee creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor...a fearsome Bengal tiger.

    Life of Pi summarizes the unforgettable adventure of Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel (Irfan Khan) when he was just a teenager (Suraj Sharma). Living for years now in Montreal, Pi is approached by a local novelist (Rafe Spall) who wants to listen to his life story, believing that it would make a great book. Pi’s family originally owned a zoo in Pondicherry, India but life has never been kind for them. After selling their zoo, Pi’s family decided to immigrate to Canada along with all the animals. But somewhere in the vast Pacific Ocean, disaster hits and their cargo ship Tsimtsum sinks. Pi is left devastated as he watches helplessly and unable to save his family. Now stranded on the lifeboat with an injured zebra, an orang utan, a hyena and a tiger named Richard Parker, Pi’s real survival story only just begin.

    This latest Ang Lee’s effort is marked up with excellent and meticulous craftsmanship. Life of Pi is told in a beautiful spectrum and powerful way as the compelling narrations, effective CGIs and emotional drainage blend so perfectly in the stretch of 127 minutes. David Magee’s screenplay shows a variety degree of moods and charms, occasionally also comes with plenty of jaw-dropping intensity sequences and touching the real depth of survival so accurately. Even when half of the movie confines only on the small lifeboat with only the young Pi and the adult Bengal tiger anchoring, the movie adapts Yann Martin’s book with so much confident and so faithfully that almost all aspects and elements go unaltered. The experience of reading the novel and watching this movie are very similar and very real, leaving a very strong emotional attachment all along.


    Life of Pi examines the concept of religious beliefs and spiritual intakes with even Pi himself described his ordeal adventure as “a story that would make you believe in God” and “hunger can change everything you thought you knew about yourself.” For a man and a tiger to live together, is a magical notion which frequently attended in a different angle, but Life of Pi puts on a unique purview. A mystifying nature of God embracement is fully embodied. Never does Pi attempted to tame Richard Parker. Yet again, it is all about survival. The mix of themes, been wrapped so well inside the arc story, are told from a perspective of a now middle-aged Pi as Irfan Khan narrates the chronicle with full command and interest. The newcomer Suraj Sharma adds in the most effective portrayal and re-enactment of the adventure with richness.


    With an excellent direction and projectable plot, the CGI adds into the experience with a deeper and stunning visual display. The scenes involving the flying fishes, roaring tigers, unforgiving Pacific storms and vivid neon-lighted whale are parts of the beauty. One would easily forget that Life of Pi is Ang Lee’s first foray into the superlative 3D technique, something akin to Martin Scorsese’s effort into Hugo last year.

    In the end, Life of Pi is a beautiful, spiritual, thoughtful and stunning film that explores the ordeal natures of religions, life and relationship from a different perspective with strong emotion, compelling narration and endearing visual effects all along. Ang Lee and David Magee for the winner!

    MY RATING:
    Story: 4.5
    Casts: 5.0
    Cinematography: 5.0
    Effects: 5.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 18.9/20.0


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