Movie Review: Life of Pi (2012 film)

Life of Pi 2012 film large movie poster

Rated: P13
Genre: Fantasy, adventure, drama
Running Time: 125 minutes
Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Suraj Sharma, Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain and Tabu

Synopsis: “Based upon the bestselling book by Yann Martel, LIFE OF PI tells the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against impossible odds. A remarkable technological breakthrough in 3D epic adventure, PI is an emotionally captivating experience that will inspire, touch and transport audiences to a place of discovery that they will never forget” (20th Century Fox).

Verdict: Whoever that said that this novel was “unfilmable” can eat his/her own words now. Life of Pi is a compelling tale of survival at the sea, alone on a single lifeboat with a wild tiger. It’s beautifully filmed, thrilling, emotional, educational, visually fascinating, the CG of the tiger is unbelievably convincing, well composed score that plays well with every scene, and the ending leaves the audience with a lot discuss to about. The only problem is how un-skinny Pi (Suraj Sharma) is after being lost at sea for so long. It may feel that the concept of the film’s a little similar to Big Fish (2003) but it’s 100% not, I assure you. And no, it’s not the artsy-fartsy, draggy or religious type of movie but certainly deserves Oscar nominations without a doubt. Well done, Ang Lee, you’ve done it again.

Second opinion: “Very nice; it’s emotional and the CG effects are very good” (Iris Loong).

To watch in 3D? The 3D depth of this film is not that great, even at an IMAX cinema, but they do contribute to the experience as a whole and for that, I’d still recommend it to be watched in IMAX 3D.

Rating: 5 / 5

So which story is real? What is the truth? So both the writer and the Japanese freighter company prefer the story that is told by Pi throughout the movie. God probably let the animals out when the ship was sinking, helped him survive, got the orangutan to protect him from Richard Parker (the tiger) at the beginning, gave him fishes to eat and took him to the island (that shapes like a person laying down) for a break before leading him to the Mexican shore. Then there’s the other story which is just pure human cruelty, which involves the cook killing both the sailor and his mum for bait and food. If he was the tiger in the first story, that could mean that he ate the chef as well to survive [EDITED]. I personally believe that the first story was made up by Pi because he didn’t want to live with the painful truth. The message of the movie depends on how the viewer decides to look at
the story. To me, it’s not about the existence of God, but
instead, it’s about the benefits of believing in something fictional and positive rather than knowing
the ugly reality.

Special thanks to 20th Century Fox Malaysia for the invitation to the press screening.

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