Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 8 November 2013 05:38
"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye."
Life of Pi
is an adaptation of Yann Martel's 2001 novel of the same name, which is often described as "unfilmable." Yet, director Ang Lee and writer David Magee attempted it nevertheless, and the resultant movie is ultimately a mixed bag. It's certainly easy to appreciate what Lee was trying to achieve here - after all, 3-D is frequently applied to big-budget action extravaganzas, but Life of Pi
aims to be an awe-inspiring visual experience that relies on the beauty of nature as opposed to colourful action scenes. While it's an incredible picture to study, it's at times a gruelling sit, with the experience ultimately becoming repetitive and exhausting. More pertinently, though, Life of Pi
is built around a thematic punch-line that's such fallacious nonsense that it undermines the production as a whole.
The narrative is predominantly told in flashback. Pi (Irfan Khan) is visited by a writer (Rafe Spall), with whom he recounts his intimate life story. As a young man, Pi (now played by Suraj Sharma) was raised in India by his zookeeper parents, who decide to move the family to Canada for a fresh start. While en route aboard a Japanese freighter, a powerful storm sinks the ship, and Pi is the sole survivor. Scrambling on a lifeboat, Pi's only companions are a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger affectionately named Richard Parker. Adrift in the middle of the ocean, nature begins to take its course, leaving just Pi and Richard Parker on the boat, with the frightened Pi attempting to manage his existence and survive the ordeal without being eaten by the ferocious (and hungry) tiger.
Life of Pi would be a breathtaking experience if only it remained focused on the events that befall Pi and Richard Parker while on the lifeboat. Unfortunately, this constituent of the story takes up a bit more than half of the film's two-hour running time. Lee makes a critical error in focusing too much on Pi telling his story, for which he over-explains everything, breaking the flow and ruining the sense of immersion. Pi is one of those people who has stories for all aspects of his life; there's a tale behind how he got his name, how Richard Parker got his name, and so on. It's too self-consciously quirky. It doesn't help that most every facet of Pi's character is quirky for the sake of it - he even "collects" religions, for crying out loud. Worse, there is a big message behind Life of Pi. See, early into the film, we're told that Pi's story will make us believe in God. And late into the film, this is finally addressed. You see, Pi eventually tells an alternate version of his survival story that's more plausible, more mundane, darker, and far more depressing. Of course people prefer to hear the story with the tiger, because it's more uplifting. "And so it goes with God," Pi tells the writer. In other words, we're basically being told that you should believe in God because it's more fun to do so. It's pretentious and cringe-inducing to extremes, closing the door on a sour note. Religious nuts may find it wonderful, but the rest of us will see it as the preachy bullshit that it is.
For all of the nonsense bubbling underneath Life of Pi's surface, it's hard to deny that Lee and his crew have assembled one hell of a gorgeous motion picture endowed with striking imagery. The CGI is genuinely top-notch, and the movie was magnificently photographed by Claudio Miranda. The animals are predominantly digital, yet they are staggeringly realistic, to the point that it's very hard to tell where the live-action ends and the CGI begins. Various set-pieces - including the ship's sinking, Pi's encounters with whales, and the discovery of a strange carnivorous island - all make a tremendous impression, and will stick in the mind long after viewing. Not many movies are worth the 3-D experience, but it's hard to imagine seeing Life of Pi in regular old 2-D. Lee and Miranda do not use 3-D as a money-inflating gimmick, but rather as a legitimate moviemaking tool which reinforces the film's central themes of distance and separation. Moreover, it emphasises the sea's great expanse, making the experience all the more immersive.
Another positive attribute is the fact that Lee is never romantic about the tiger, nor does he imbue the beast with any anthropomorphism. It's established early into the movie that this is a wild beast, vicious and meat-eating, and it is a danger to Pi while he's trapped on the lifeboat with it. While Pi refuses to kill Richard Parker, the tiger would be more than willing to devour the boy without any consideration. A growing bond does emerge, but it does feel organic to the film, which is a huge accomplishment. The animation of the tiger is extraordinary, but young Suraj Sharma also deserves plaudits. This is Sharma's first film role, yet he delivers a terrific, complex performance, and it's all the more impressive considering that he was playing opposite a digital creation which was never on set with him.
Life of Pi is treacly, self-indulgent philosophical tripe, but it's gorgeous to look at, making this one of the most spectacular visual experiments since James Cameron's Avatar. A number of filmmakers have set out to adapt the Life of Pi novel in the past (including M. Night Shyamalan), hence Lee does deserve credit for rendering this "unfilmable" novel as skilfully as he did. It's definitely worth seeing, regardless of its undeniable shortcomings.
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Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 15 September 2013 02:58
Well, one of most expected movie of 2012 by me. It was not a colorful visual movie like 'Avatar' which was bluish Or 'Hugo' which was orangish except in few scenes that too come in night shot though IMO you should not compare it with above two. Many part of 3D sequences were just awesome, never ever looked better the water in 3D.
It could have been more violent and sentimental story that ever told on this theme but not, the director cleverly blended the humor with character emotions very nicely, that is why it was just rated PG where children are allowed with their parents approval, but it is common for them to see an animal to kill another in Animal Planet, so its not a big deal i think. The CGI animal(s) were looked so clean and good. Of course the Tiger dominants throughout the movie beside Pi.
I must say the movie don't offer what you expect from its trailer, in movie it was totally different than any movie in the world except Waterworld + Cast Away + Castle in the Sky (a little) = Life Of Pi, i am not comparing it to other 3 but saying got similarity in some parts.
I did not like the end much, I mean the way it ended was not proper, I thought it still had something to go far away then realized it happen only in commercial movies.
My question is can this movie do good business which got no big names and cast!? Indian cast, Taiwan's talent, American product and a great effort of various technicians from around the world is equal to LIFE OF PI in Pacific ocean over 227 days. Hoping it gonna grab couple of awards in Academy award. Worth watching it in 3D, Someday in future you can say that i was in there when it came out when it called epic like what we call some of classical movies today.
You could see better and beautiful India in beginning few Minutes than any Hollywood movie which deal on Indian subject. people from in and around Pondicherry can feel proud, why not whole Indians can. The images from the movie will remain in our eyes for some time even after you left the cinema hall specially may be you won't forget the name Richard Parker.
And now i go for 9 outa 10 saying must see specially we Indian because we cant make movie like this at least for right now in our own but we can watch this western piece of Indian art carved Ang Lee.
There is a chance that this movie could replace 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' as Ang Lee's best, I said may be so lets see. Might be I am little excited for seeing it in preview show lets see what happens later days and what others say.
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Posted : 1 year, 9 months ago on 28 April 2013 12:10
I wasn't sure about this flick but after hearing so many good things, I seriously wanted to check it out. And I wasn't disappointed. Indeed, it was a really fascinating story, a gorgeous movie to look at and I'm really glad I'm managed to watch in the theater and in 3D. Pretty much like the late Roger Ebert, I really dread this new 3D hype but Ang Lee used it very well and it definitely enhanced the whole experience. It is pretty funny to think that 10 years ago, Ang Lee was ridiculed for 'Hulk' (in my opinion, a feature criminally underrated and actually one of the best super-hero flicks ever made) above all for its really ugly CGI sequences. This time around, Lee didn't only manage to master the CGI, he made one of the best use of it I have witnessed. Just mind-blowing. Used properly it can be a great tool but it's unfortunate that nowadays it is mostly used to create some big robots, huge monsters or impossible explosions. So, it was visually fascinating and the story was also really interesting with some thoughts about fiction, reality, religion and rationality. I must admit, I will have to re-watch it in the future to make a fair assessment concerning the story itself. Anyway, once again, you have here a movie which was rather low in my priorities but turned out to be one of the best released in 2012. To conclude, I thought it was an enchanting and touching tale and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in Ang Lee's work.
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Posted : 1 year, 9 months ago on 20 April 2013 04:49
I enjoyed Life Of Pi thoroughly from the beginning until just before the end. The movie is undoubtedly beautiful and the story is quite engaging. It's always a good sign when you look at your watch and two hours has flown by like nothing.
The graphics are dazzling, the scope is grand, and the film really captures the myriad emotions that one must experience when lost at sea.
Where this film gets into trouble is its muddled message, which isn't surprising since the message is "spiritual." Ultimately it's asking you to believe that fiction and truth are a legitimate choice, and if you choose fiction because it helps you get through life, then that's ok.
The problem here is a lack of intellectual honesty. Pi says these things, but he also says that it was his father's (the atheist) reason and clear eyed view of the world that actually kept him alive. He admits that the fiction (religion) is nothing but a coping mechanism for his trauma. I also didn't buy the idea that after hearing his sordid tale (which he tacitly admits is not true) the writer interviewing him would suddenly believe in "god" or take on some spiritual awakening.
I loved the twist at the end, but not what it represented. Great job by Ang Lee directing this film. I would rate it higher if the message of the story was more consistent and meaningful.
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Posted : 1 year, 11 months ago on 25 February 2013 07:14
Great camera, visuals and effects, but I felt it was a bit lacking on the other shit. Acting wasn't that good really, and the story kind of felt too simple. "Have faith in god and shit, because that version of life is more "fun" than not having faith at all." A simple and a boring premise.
Maybe I didn't get it. Maybe I need to be more open for faith in general. You know, fuck logic and all that.
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Posted : 1 year, 11 months ago on 20 February 2013 03:13
Yann Martels novel Life of Pi was such an engaging read, it seemed almost impossible to turn it into a film. The images that were left upon the impressionable readers of the novel seemed so grand and having a film depict them would just ruin that wonderful imagination. Boy, was that the wrong idea now that I have witnessed Ang Lee’s adaptation of the fantastic novel.
Pi Patel’s family has packed up all their stuff and are heading for Canada, when the freight ship they are sailing on sinks in the pacific ocean, leaving Pi stranded on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an Orangutan and a 450 pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi must adapt to the forces of nature, and become the dominant figure amidst the animals in order to survive this harrowing journey across the pacific.
Ang Lee’s vision of Yann Martel’s novel is a visual spectacle, built to be a journey of faith, acceptance and self discovery. Lee creates a film that leans heavily on visuals, the CG affects that are used to create the animals on the boat. A lot of this film is about instincts, natural survival that is hindered by the wreckage that can be caused by nature itself. It becomes a journey of one young man, who must find the courage to survive through these troubling times.
Some of the descriptions and imagination of the novel of course were lost which is inevitable. The narration of Pi Patel was crucial to the novel, and the film, but at points felt lost upon the visual capabilities of the film. What was great about the novel was the ability to imagine how Pi Patel told the story, how the words on the page seemed to build his character, which seemed to be lost in the film. The words from the novel only translated to the screen on a superficial level, but not a spiritual and idealistic level like in the novel.
That is not to say the film is bad in any way, I was blown away by the chilling visuals that were on display. The ship-wreck, the ocean storm, the island were all very thrilling and kept the film alive, kept it breathing fresh air. Due to the lack of people presence for the last half of the film, the visuals undoubtedly became the backbone of this film. For fans of the novel, these visuals are enough to keep you entertained and engaged. For those who have not read the novel, this film will serve as a great survival story, a visual masterpiece and an epic journey.
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Posted : 2 years ago on 11 January 2013 08:59
In most recent years, we experience that one hit which embarks us on an unforgettable adventure and will want to continuously revisit. Following in similar footsteps to Avatar
, the audience are whisked into a magical world that is filled with stunning effects. Visually, you cannot go much higher than what is in Life Of Pi
and the film also gifted for the breath-taking experience in 3D and makes it worth every penny. On the other hand, along on this jaw-dropping and eye-popping journey we venture on an emotionally engaging ride that could bring tears to the audience’s eyes. Therefore, director Ang Lee balances the scales of visual magic with thought-provoking drama and results in a piece of cinematic treasure.
Based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel, Life Of Pi
was adapted onto the screen by director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
) and in his latest feature, we go on an adventure beyond anything he has ever done. Life Of Pi
has themes and moral ethics all over it which play a vital part in the film. For example, it has a firm hold on elements of religion. The relationships between the characters are representations of tragedy as well as the beauty and faith that religion beholds. It also shows the goodness in the world and how both mankind and beasts signify this through communication and natural instincts. Life Of Pi
is evidently Lee’s greatest visual achievement so far and with his use of restrained emotions trailing behind from his previous films, this is another one of his masterpieces.
In the leading role of Pi is Suraj Sharma who, similar to Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire
, takes the audience on his courageous journey from a somewhat poor Asian environment to exposing his inner self. Pi is a character filled with passion and bravery. So, when he survives the shipwreck and is cast out to sea on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, the audience are literally there with him. In Sharma’s remarkable performance, we experience a lot of heartbreak, love, loyalty and at times, suspense. Sharma’s portrayal of Pi is not quite close enough for Academy Award consideration but it is still one of the greatest young star performances of the year. Meanwhile Irrfan Khan, who ironically had a role in Slumdog Millionaire
portrayed Pi as an adult who is telling his story to a young writer. Although Sharma’s performance indicates exactly what the experience is like when you’re there, Khan’s portrayal is slightly different and perhaps more thought-provoking as the elder Pi tells the audience of the after-effect and influence it had on his life. Therefore, both actors portrayed the character from two different perspectives and exemplified an important time in one’s life about self-discovery and love from within the heart.
Computer-generated imagery has always been the most ideal gimmick to boost a film’s profits following its release and most of the time; films have delivered only in that area. However, although Life Of Pi
certainly does deliver on that visual standard with outstanding CGI effects, the film provides a new meaning and purpose to them. Practically every animal is fully computer-generated but the most important is the Bengal Tiger. This is not just any piece of impressive effects, let alone any tiger. What we have is that this animal has personality and we see this through its body language and facial expressions. It still has its predatory instincts by wanting to kill and eat its prey on the lifeboat, including Pi but at the same time, we can emotionally relate to him, especially after being given the unofficial name of Richard Parker from Pi. Therefore, considering that it is a full CGI character and that it is a tiger, ‘Richard Parker’ is a solid supporting character that creates a firm but unlikely connection between beasts and mankind.
If you observe Life Of Pi
at a grand scale, you’ll notice that it delivers the same type of charm and inspiration from the Indian culture as Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire
, but at a slightly higher scale of emotional warmth. The film may have had an occasionally slow build-up to the shipwreck, but Life Of Pi
will make you chuckle, make you feel a balanced mix of joy and heartbreak and will leave you with a huge grin on your face. As far as Academy Awards are concerned, it has a strong chance and it has shown that there is even more to 3D and computer-generated effects than eye candy and a money-grubbing gimmick. Nevertheless, Life Of Pi
welcomes all audiences to enter the magic within and provides an unforgettable experience.
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