Based on the New York Time’s best-selling book of the same name, Life of Pi is the retelling of Piscine Patel’s extraordinary survival on a life boat with a tiger. A movie that, from the previews alone, was sure to be a visual wonderland and an epic unlike anything from recent years.
Life of Pi boasts something that most modern successes can’t: a simple narrative. A story of survival at sea, with an overarching question, “Does God exist?” Even more impressive is that this film can ask such a touchy question without alienating any belief. My only complaint was the means by which the story is told, when the survivor, Pi, recalls the events to a would-be author. That being said, the climax of the movie is both moving and thought-provoking. It is simply stunning.
Perhaps the only real fault, although understandable, is the performance of Suraj Sharma. A fault because it is obvious that this is his first acting job. However, it is quite understandable when you consider the amount of weight and emotion his character must carry, as he is the only human we see for most of the story. Overall, he does a fine job, but he never “wows” the audience and never pushes the acting over the brink. Sharma merely acts his way to “good enough” and holds it there.
Ang Lee hits his mark perfectly. Setting out to make one of the most visually pleasing films of the year, he has thus far succeeded. No film since Avatar has so brilliantly taken advantage of the use of 3D technology, giving hope to us viewers that it isn’t simply a passing trend. Color, whimsy, nature, and fantasy all culminated into a flawless confection for your eyes. Life of Pi is this year’s most beautiful film.
Finished Product: 23/25
While it may have some slow moments, and it might not be the greatest we’ve ever seen, Life of Pi fits right in with 2012’s ever-growing Oscar list. It challenges the way you think about your own existence by showing you that the mind is a powerful and wonderful thing. The final twist at the end is sure to make you question your faith, even if only for a moment.
Final Score: 91/100
Another high-ranking movie in my book, this year’s Oscar race is getting tighter and tighter, with many other films this month looking to close the gap. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Life of Pi, and will most likely make another trip to see it again, just to relive the visual ecstasy of Ang Lee’s 3D masterpiece.