This film is based on Canadian author Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel “Life of Pi,” which depicts the extraordinary survival storey of Pi, a teen stuck on a lifeboat for what seems like an eternity at sea in the Pacific Ocean with just a tiger for company.
Based on Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel “Life of Pi,” this film follows the extraordinary survival story of Pi, a teen stuck on a lifeboat for what seems like an eternity at sea in the Pacific Ocean with just a tiger for company.
“Life of Pi,” directed by Ang Lee, is a marvel of storytelling and a monument of visual excellence. It is a triumph against its challenges, inspired by a worldwide best-seller that many readers must have assumed was unfilmable. It’s also a spiritually stirring film, with a title that may have been abbreviated to “life.”
The plot revolves around a teenage hero who spends 227 days in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger wandering across the Pacific. After an entertaining and colourful prologue that could have been expanded into an exhilarating family film, they find themselves in the same boat. The storey then develops into a survival, acceptance, and adaptability allegory. Even Yann Martel, the novel’s French-Canadian author, must be pleased to see how Lee’s artistic idealism has avoided the usual kind of Hollywood manhandling.
The story starts in a small family zoo in Pondichery, India, where Piscine, the youngster, is raised. Piscine translates to “swimming pool” in English, yet his playmates call him “pee” in India, where English is spoken by far more people than French. He takes the name “Pi” in order to put an end to it, exhibiting an extraordinary ability to write out the mathematical constant that starts with 3.14 and never ends. If Pi is an infinite number, it’s the ideal moniker for a young man who appears to have no boundaries.
The zoo goes bankrupt, and Pi’s father boards a ship destined for Canada with his family and a few important animals. A zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and the lion all fall into the boat with the youngster, only to be washed away by the strong seas. His family is never seen again, and the last image we get of the ship is of its lights vanishing into the depths – a chilling image.
The youngster (Suraj Sharma) is in a dangerous predicament since the film refuses to sentimentalise the tiger (fancifully named “Richard Parker”). A pivotal early sequence in the zoo demonstrates that wild animals are, in fact, wild and animals, and acts as a warning to children in the audience who should not mistake this for a Disney tiger.
The film’s heart is focused on the sea adventure, during which the human proves his ability to think creatively and the tiger demonstrates its ability to learn. I’m not going to tell you how those things go down. The options are mind-blowing.
The film is a gigantic work of art, with spectacular 3D and computer-generated images. Lee’s movie adaptation gives the plot more depth while also mesmerising the audience with its visual splendour.
The beautiful graphics and calming background score of LOP transport you to a realm of beauty, where the sky is as beautiful as the sea and the stars shine as brightly as a stone thrown in the ocean. In every sense of the term, the film is ‘visually enchanting.’ The beauty of India’s Puducherry and Munnar has been captured on film.
Lee’s storytelling keeps you interested throughout, and the actors deserve praise as well. Suraj Sharma gives a solid performance as Pi, an adolescent who learns the meaning of life the hard way.Irrfan Khan’s performance as the older Pi is important in the film’s emotional impact. His off-kilter American accent is audible but not distracting. Even in her tiny but pivotal appearance, Tabu makes an impression.
Ang Lee expertly combines adventure and spirituality together. And if you still haven’t experienced meditation, watch Life of Pi; it’s both soothing and insightful.