Movie review: “Life of Pi”

Imagine being shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean and having to share a raft with a ravenous Bengal tiger, while trying to maintain hope that help will someday appear on the horizon.

“Life of Pi”, based on the book of the same name by Yann Martel, tells the story of Piscine “Pi” Patel and his arduous adventure as he survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of discovery.

The movie starts as an adult Pi recounts his tale to an inquisitive author who is desperate to hear a story that will cure his writers block. Pi, however, believes that his story does more than intrigue the mind —it also has the ability to enable faith in God.

At a young age, the curious Pi becomes attracted to religion and the meaning of life. His spiritual journey and maintaining his faith are themes throughout the film.

As an adolescent, Pi’s faith is tested when his family decides to leave their home country of India and move the family zoo. Pi realizes that, spiritually, he has been as much of a captive as the caged animals.

While traveling to Canada on a Japanese cargo ship filled with people and animals, a catastrophic storm overturns the ship, leaving Pi orphaned and stranded on a lifeboat, with an adult Bengal tiger as a surprise stowaway. For Pi, the 227 days at sea become a test of extreme physical and mental strength.

From beginning to end, it is very easy for the audience to feel the emotion and struggle that the character faces as he is confronted with thirst, starvation and an undying will to survive.  From the extravagant rush of waves during the mighty storm, to a squadron of flying fish, and a dark ocean illuminate by jellyfish, the state-of-the-art 3D and majestic digital effects allow scenes and colors to brilliantly pop off-screen.

This movie seems to showcase how far technology has come in the film industry. The remarkable creatures placed in the film, using CGI technology, exceeded my expectations. The tiger’s fierce roars, powerful strides, and menacing eyes come to life in astonishing detail and make the viewers forget that it is a product of movie magic.

This poetic tale of life versus death and mind over matter allows the viewers to take a journey into a world like no other. From the start, the audience is transported into the life of a boy who seeks to find acceptance and universal understanding. With every tribulation, he seems to find a stronger connection to his faith, which, in turn, saves his life.

“Life of Pi” is a must-see film that will open the eyes to the wonders of good technology, and indulge the mind with the beauty and mystery of the world. It is also receiving some well-deserved recognition, with 11 Academy Award nominations, including best picture.

Leave a Reply