Review: Life of Pi

The adventure of a lifetime surrounding a teenage boy and an adult Bengal tiger lost at sea is the main plot of the latest film from Academy Award winning director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”).

Pi and Richard Parker are lost at sea trying to find a way home

“Life of Pi” is based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel. It is a flashback narrative of shipwreck survivor Piscine Militor “Pi” Patel, played by Suraj Sharma[17 year old Pi] and Irrfan Khan [adult Pi] (“Slumdog Millionaire”). A writer, played by Rafe Spall (“Anonymous”) is suggested by a family friend of Pi’s to listen to a rather remarkable story of how Pi survived the shipwreck that claimed his entire family and survived months drifting on trackless seas.

Seventeen year old Pi (Sharma) is adrift on a lifeboat with Richard Parker, a ferocious Bengal tiger, with the means and ambition to kill him and eat him but the two castaways must depend on each other to survive.

“My greatest enemy became my only hope.”-Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel.

“Life of Pi,” is visually gorgeous which is an identifiable trait of Ang Lee’s style but the story of the film just doesn’t measure up to the film’s on-screen beauty. What does measure up though is the tense appeal of the drama in the film.

This movie thrives off the dramatic tension between Pi and Richard Parker. Whether it is adversarial or sentimental, the two characters just deliver intensity whenever one or both is on the screen.

The movie has amazing visual effects and that will appeal very well to the audience. The 3D also augments this visual appeal amazingly.

This is a great coming-of-age drama but there are moments when the movie just lags.

Screenwriter David Magee does a nice job creating the blueprint for Ang Lee to build the world this fantastical journey takes place but there are moments when there is disconnect and abstract symbolism leaves audiences scratching their heads.

“Life of Pi” is a good movie. More could have been done with it or put into it but it is a good movie nonetheless.

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