‘Life Of Pi’ directed by the brilliant visionary, Ang Lee (‘Broadback Mountain’, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’) is the thrilling and powerful story of 17 year old Piscine Militor, aka Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) who grows up in Pondicherry India, a southern french colony during the 1970’s.
Pi lives an idyllic life. His house is located in a beautiful lush storybook setting, surrounded by a zoo filled with tigers, hippos, organgutans, monkies, zebras, just to name a few of the incredible animals that live there.
We meet Pi at the age of 5 (Gautan Belur – age 5) and then at 11 (Ayush Tandon). When not in school or studying, he spends his time these fabulous creatures which leads him to develop his own theories about faith, religion, as well as what he believes when it comes to the true nature of humans and animals..
However, when Pi attempts to befriend a 450 lb Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, his father (Adil Hussain) freaks out and winds up teaching him a very harsh lesson about the true nature of this beast.
Years later, Pi’s father and mother (Tabu) decide to relocate to Canada for economic reasons. This news is absolutely devastating for the 17 year old Pi. He doesn’t want to leave his animal friends or his human ones…especially his girl friend (Shravanthi Sainath)
But there is nothing Pi can do about it. The decisiion has been made. The family packs up their belongings, including some of the zoo animals that they intend to sell once they reach their new home, and set sail on a cargo ship.
It doesn’t take long before a monstrous storm breaks out, causing the ship to sink and killing everyone on board, except for…
Pi, the tiger, Richard Parker, a wounded zebra, a female organgutan, a rat and a vicious hyena, who now find themselves adrift somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, sharing a 27 foot life boat.
Pi has to find a way to keep himself and the animals alive and eventually, he must bond with the ferocious Richard Parker…his mortal enemy.
‘Life Of Pi’ written by David Magee is based on Yann Martel;s award winning novel which spent years on the bestseller list. Lee’s vision, coupled with stunning 3D visuals, including flying fish, a breaching whale and luminous jelly fish that light up the night sky, has turned this beloved novel into a magical, mesmerizing, beautiful film about faith, hope and survival. Plus it’s done with a great deal of humor…Something you better have if and when you’re lost and sea with a Bengal tiger.
Rounding out the cast is Gerard Depardieu, as the ship’s nasty french cook, Irrfan Khan as the adult Pi, Ayan Khan (Pi’s brother) and Rafe Spall as the writer.
The only problem I had was how Lee book-ended the film. It just didn’t fit with the rest of the movie. But despite this, I still gave ‘Life Of Pi’ which opens in theatres, Wednesday, November 21, 2012…4 1/2 bagels and John did the same.
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