Ang Lee’s Life of Pi an aquatic visual odyssey in 3D
By Christopher Totten
photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Corporation
Actor Suraj Sharma and the Bengal tiger sail the open seas
in the film adaption of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi,
directed by Ang Lee.
Leopards, tigers, and whales... Oh my! What a visual treat that is Life of Pi! Based on the 2001 novel by Yann Martel, the film Life of Pi was released Nov. 21 to theatres. Powerhouse director Ang Lee, who brought you such amazing theatrical feats as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sense and Sensibility, has infused visual elements similar to those in his other films, kicking it up a notch by releasing Life of Pi in 3D.
The audience follows Piscine Patel’s wonderfully crafted narrative through his early childhood. From growing up in India, where his family bought and ran the local zoo, to his harrowing adventure of being adrift at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after the ship his family is using to transport their animals to Canada sinks, Pi’s story captivates the hearts of and stimulates the visual senses of audiences of all ages. During his journey at sea, Pi (Irrfan Khan) encounters amazing sights—from dazzling oceans aglow with jellyfish to an entire school of flying fish. While witnessing all these wondrous things, Pi has to balance the beauty with the beast of the Bengal Tiger (Richard Parker). The thought-provoking relationship blossoms throughout the film from a typical protagonist or antagonist into something much more.
The most striking features of Life of Pi are the optical treasures Ang Lee brings to the screen. The colors dazzle and the images pop, creating an experience that the viewer will not soon forget. Furthermore, the audience will note that the acting does not distract from, but rather enhances the picture. Adult Pi is wonderfully charming and his 16-year-old counterpart, played by Suraj Sharma, holds his own in his debut role.
Life of Pi is a movie that not only fans of the novel, but also viewers of all ages and stratospheres should see. It is a journey that was meant to be viewed in 3D and is ever more amazing when done so. Ang Lee has crafted a gorgeous film that visually rivals the likes of Avatar. If you have a few spare hours and an extra ten dollars in the bottom of your lifeboat, come ashore at your local theatre and dive into Life of Pi.