Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Life of Pi
Happy New Year everyone! I think there's a few more countries who are yet to cross the border into 2013 but you shouldn't be too far away. Any year that starts off with a good film must be a good year, right?
Life of Pi was directed by Ang Lee (Lust, Caution) and written by David Magee (Finding Neverland). The film was adapted by Yann Martel's novel of the same name.
A Canadian writer (Rafe Spall - Prometheus) has come to the house of Piscene Molitor (Irrfan Khan - The Amazing Spider-Man) to hear a story. Pi (for short) was named after a beautiful swimming pool in France but his name unfortunately sounds like the word 'pissing' a fact that caused the other kids in school much delight. Pi (in his fifties) shares his story with the writer over some naan...
The Patel family lived near the French quarter in India, and they owned a zoo. Due to financial pressures they were forced to move the animals to North America by freighter. One night younger Pi (Suraj Sharma - Made In Hollywood) watches a storm on the deck of the ship. The storm gets worse and the ship is tossed about. Pi, along with a few animals, make it to a lifeboat. The ship sinks. His family drown.
With Pi on the boat are a zebra, orangutan, a hyena. Like any nature documentary, the hyena kills the tiger and the orangutan. It goes for Pi but from under a cover pounces a tiger and finishes off the hyena. The tiger's name is Richard Parker.
Scared, Pi makes a makeshift raft and ties it to the boat so he doesn't get eaten by the tiger. They spend days at sea, the raft gets bigger and more stable. There is some food on the lifeboat but Pi mainly catches fish for himself and Richard Parker. During their time together in the ocean they share some magical experiences. I'm sure you've seen the trailer by now.
I saw this in 3D. You must see this in 3D. It would be almost like seeing something like Avatar in 2D - why bother? You'd be missing out on soooo much! Ang Lee has mastered the 3D landscape (should I say seascape) with this film. It truly is a wondrous experience. Lee fills the screen with beauty, even if it's just a shot of a guy swimming in a pool.
The opening credit sequence took us around the zoo, it was like a live-action Madagascar! So cute! I loved 'Meerkat Island'. When the tiger was chasing the meerkats around I couldn't help but think of the Fenton video! The film also reminded me of Castaway had Wilson been a tiger. I don't know if that would have ended so well.
Things I learnt: tiger pee in 3D is something everyone should experience; don't tempt a storm; no one wants to clean up after a seasick orangutan.
Eight out of ten.