REVIEW: LIFE OF PI
Ang Lee’s adaptation is a visual master stroke
By Colton Dunham
At one point, critics and fans alike weren’t so sure that Yann Martel’s best-selling novel Life of Pi would ever make it on the silver screen. The fantasy novel was actually once deemed as “unfilmable” due to the substantial technical work that would have to go in making the film be a mere possibility. Oscar winning director Ang Lee, known for being an ambitious visionary, used state of the art digital technology to bring the majestic tale to life. The story of Life of Pi centers on the survival of a young man as he tries to endure a journey of hunger and faith on board of a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Life of Pi showcases not only Ang Lee’s progressive visual artistry but also an artistic use of 3D technology that, for the first time since it’s implementation in mainstream cinema, serves a purpose to the overall scope of the film by adding depth to the vivid imagery.
We are first introduced to Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) when he’s a middle-aged man living in Canada (played by Irrfan Khan). He serves as the narrator of the film as he tells the story of his youth up to the point of his time on the lifeboat to a journalist (Rafe Spall) who’s interested in writing about Pi’s life. The narrative then takes us back to Pi’s youth in Pondicherry, India when his peers tormented him and he becomes interested in multiple religions. His father is a zookeeper and because of his father’s occupation, Pi has grown up to love and understand animals. As Pi grows older and becomes infatuated with girls, he and his family are forced to move out of India due to the tough economic times. Although they own the animals that inhabit the zoo, they don’t own the land so they board up all of the animals including themselves on a Japanese cargo ship to a Canadian destination.