Review: LIFE OF PI is stunning

Pi makes a splash
By Melissa M

life-of-pi-movie-imageLife of Pi
Ang Lee
Twentieth Century Fox (2012)

Life of Pi is an intriguing story that plunges you into the world of Pi and Richard Parker; a story of hope and perseverance in time of adversity.

The movie Life of Pi is based on the novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. Pi is a sixteen year old boy from India. His parent’s deicide to take him, his older brother and their exotic zoo across the ocean to Canada. Along the way there is a severe storm and Pi is left stranded on a life boat with a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. The story is about searching for survival, hope, and faith. In a conversation between the adult Pi and a writer, Pi says “Faith is a house with many rooms.” The writer responds “but no room for doubt?” Adult Pi says in return “Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful; it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”

During the movie, Pi is shown at different ages, but the sixteen year old is the one who we focus on the most. Suraj Sharma a native from Delhi India plays the role of Pi Patel. This is Suraj’s debut, and for being a first time actor he did an amazing job. His expressions and emotions that he poured out into each scene made him very believable. Being a first time actor, Suraj brings rawness to the story that a trained actor could not do. He is able to put himself into the story and bring out emotions. In the scene where Pi chooses to save Richard Parker out of the water, it changes his idea that he does need Richard Parker to survive this journey. It shows Pi’s character and values.

Director Ang Lee has created a phenomenal piece of art with this film. The scene is mostly set on the ocean. The vastness and depth of the visuals are stunning; making you feel as though you are out on the boat with the characters. Ang Lee is an award winning director. The novel naturally does not lend itself to film; however, Lee does an amazing job. The lighting, music, angles and perspective in this film are visually appealing and a huge success.

The most important special effect added to this film is the Bengal tiger Richard Parker. Obviously it is not possible to film a vicious tiger and a boy together on a boat. The technology used in the making of the tiger used 1500 artists just working on the fur of Richard Parker. They intercut between a real tiger and a digital one, so well that the audience as no idea when it’s a real tiger or a digital one. The effects bring Richard Parker to life, and you could not have the film without him. The background scenes, especially ones while on the ocean, are beautiful. The colours and 3D of this movie make it even better.
Life of Pi is a movie worth seeing, maybe even more than once. It is visually appealing, and the acting is believable. The story of this boy’s journey can have many interpretations, each person can come away with their own perspective and also having more faith than you came with.
Melissa M is a grade 12 student at FHS who saw Life of Pi in 3D.

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