The story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper's son who finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean.
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First off this is my first review so go easy on me! Secondly i'm not pretending to be an expert I just love films!
Ok on to the film! My personal belief is that this film is one of the best to come out of the year, it can be watched by anyone and you can enjoy it on any level whether just for the spectical and the emotional journey or for the subtext meanings. For me the thing that separates this from other films is the implications and the way it describes religion. In the film, Pi tells two stories, one where Pi survives on a life boat with a wounded Zebra, a vicious hyena, an oranutan (lovingly named orange juice) and of course the 300 pound tiger. The other version of the story (the one he tells to the men from the shipping company) contains the same characters but in human form; where the orangutan is Pi's mother, the zebra is a sailor with a broken leg, the hyena is a brutal calculating chef and the tiger's actions are that of Pi (I'll come back to the tiger).
The important thing to take from the film is that you can't disprove either of the stories as Pi is the only source. Therefore at the end of the film when the reporter (who is the voice of the audience) is asked which story he prefers, his choice remains a belief as there is no right or wrong answer. This is the exact same case as religion. There is no proof that there is definately a God in the same way that there is no way to disprove the exsistance of God.
If you take away nothing else from leaving the cinema take away this!
Now for the countless metaphors you can read into the film begining with the tiger. Lets start with the facts; tigers are very powerful creatures, this power is amplified when Pi is forced off the lifeboat and is forced to make a raft; the tiger keeps Pi alive, he tells us this near the end of the film; (even when he is doing things which may seem to be to kill Pi, he is keeping Pi alive); when Pi and the tiger first meet the tiger is caged by his atheist father and an example is brought forward to disprove the emotional connection between Pi and the tiger; finally the tiger never shows any feelings towards Pi (if any exsist) even after their struggle and everthing they have been through the tiger never looks back before he walks away into the jungle.
All of these properties we find in the tiger, are also present in the definition of God. Like the tiger; he holds great power; he is said to follow a plan and therefore work for the greater good of mankind, even through natural disasters good can still come; in an attempt to disprove the love God is supposed to have for mankind athiests will look to examples which disprove this as was in the case of the goat being killed by the tiger. Then there is the idea that as God protects us in ways we may not understand at the time and needs no gratitude or reward for his actions; which is mirrored in the tiger never showing emotions towards Pi.
The cinematography in this film is fantastic which enhances the appeal to a younger audience. This is combined with the subtext and morals which will leave you thinking long after you leave the cinema. Overall I can not fault this film, not even the acting abilities of the tiger.
This movie had its positives and negatives like every movie does. The colors were beautiful. It reminded me a lot of Avatar where he is in the jungle at night and all the colors illuminate the area. It was like that except many more scenes of this happening. Unfortunately the story is lacking a bit. It didn't keep me wondering if he would make it or not because you do see him in the beginning of the film to tell the story. The scene with the zebra and orangatang getting killed is something that I could have done without but atleast the tiger could feed on that instead of the boy. Some will enjoy this movie more than others. I would watch again just to see the beautifully colored world that is created throughout the film but I would skip through the movie to see those scenes because for me it didn't have much of a re-watch factor. 5/10
Eleven years ago I read and relished Yann Martel's irresistible, allegorical "Life of Pi"; many pivotal books gradually sink into the vast recesses of one's mind, titles fade, but in this instance Pi's journey sunk its literary teeth into a comfortable corner of my memory; took up permanent residence, and in gratitude to Ang Lee's profoundly beautiful, visual production, a substantive, realistic vibrancy emerges as the tale unfolds.
"Life of Pi" is a technological jewel: impeccable, magical cinematography (Claudio Miranda); 3-D intensely engaging, the viewer is embraced by nature's ferocity and enchantment. Underwater and celestial sequences, positively pregnant with the wizardry of man's imagination and skill.
The novel resonated as a metaphorical journey, each animal an anthropomorphic example of the human condition; every obstacle bested, resulting in one more sunrise, sunset; addressing why some thrive while others languish. At the powerful core was the mystical, metaphysical belief in a higher being, and Pi's acceptance of three primary religions: Hinduism, Catholicism and Islam; all protected him from demoralization, cloaked him in hope for 227 days; ship-wrecked in the Pacific Ocean; water and its curative, cleansing attributes play a key role in these diverse faiths and purge Pi of any incidentals, illusions as to himself and his insignificance when confronted with the daunting, unrelenting magnitude of nature. His sole companion, "Richard Parker", a glorious, wild Bengal tiger; Pi's nemesis to be trained, fed; a reason to fight the inevitability of death.
Suraj Sharma is genuine, refreshing, riveting, as "Pi" (shortened from, "Piscine Molitor" a swimming pool in Paris); at sixteen he is cauterized from all he knows: family, country, stability; levity, anguish, enlightenment inform his characterization. "Richard Parker", mistakenly named after his captor, is a metaphor for tackling one's eminent fears; Nietzsche thought that what does not fell us, fortifies our resolve. From the onset we know that Pi survives; the narrative is spun by the adult " Pi" (pure, arresting portrayal by Irrfan Khan) who tells his remarkable story to an inquisitive writer ( Rafe Spall).
Life is about choices and in conclusion "Life of Pi" leaves the choice to the reader/viewer. Herein, lies the greatness of this immaculately wonderful book and film.
This film will always stay in a special place in my heart. Ang Lee is a fantastic director, and he made this movie a beautiful thing that came to life right in front of my eyes. The stunning animations were absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn't believe exactly what I was seeing. Movies like this make you think about our lives, and how lucky we are to have all of the luxuries we obtain, and how we take them for granted. A masterpiece; this left me utterly speechless. This is a movie I shall NEVER, EVER forget, and it captivated everyone's attention. When I left the theater, I was quite bewildered because my expectations were put to new heights, and that I was not expecting.