Review: Life of Pi

“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.” – Pi

I thought the trailer for this film was terrible, and it seemed like the end product would be all style and no substance. Don’t judge a film by its trailer; this isn’t the first time I’ve been led astray this year.

I don’t know where else to note this, but I did not see the film in 3D. Even Roger Ebert, a big critic of the 3D movement, said this is one of the best uses of the technology he’s seen. Keep that in mind.

Life of Pi follows young Pi (Suraj Sharma) through his upbringing in Pondichery, India. His family owns a zoo in India which eventually goes broke, forcing his family to move to India. Why they don’t move from their nice home in India to a less expensive one, and how moving to Canada is cheaper, I cannot say. There are a number of confusing moments in the film that aren’t explained particularly well. Regardless, their ship wrecks (in epic visual fashion much like the rest of the film), and Pi survives, making his way onto a boat.

The other survivors that make their way to Pi’s boat? A zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and most importantly, Richard Parker, a wonderfully digitized tiger.

Life of Pi Whale Scene

It’s difficult not to spoil anything from here out. Sharma yields the glory to the tiger a good bit, but he’s a very promising actor in his own right, and is depicted in impressive fashion. Most of the scenes were shot in sequence, and you can see Pi getting more and more cooked by the sun during his 227 day journey. The movie is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.

On the other hand, while I got more of a plot than I was expecting, it was still lacking. There were a lot of confusing segments, ranging from the minor (why did Pi stop wearing a hat while he was at sea? He totally made one but he wasn’t using it save for a scene or two) to the essentials. Yes, I’m referring to the poorly-transitioned, very confusing ending.

But overall, Life of Pi definitely had more ups than downs. It had its laughs, it had the line I’ve quoted, and it had the eye candy. It’s a film I could see winning Best Picture and Best Director, but I’ve still got a few left to watch.

Oh, and for the record, bananas do not, in fact, float…in fresh water. However, in salt water, pretty much anything can float.

Life of Pi Rating:

3.5 Stars


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