Life of Pi Review
Updated on November 30, 2012, 8:08 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Driving home after seeing Life of Pi was filled with an inner debate over the movie's story. Not wanting to give too much away, it leaves any one who sees it with a perception driven question. The answer that that person chooses is definitive of their personality, and how they percieve life.
Life of Pi is one of the year's best. Ang Lee has delivered an absolutely breathtaking and beautiful film that is more than a fantastical journey. It's a study of life. It's also a study between the relationships between humans and animals. Pi Patel (played by Suraj Sharma) survives a shipwreck and finds himself in a lifeboat with an unexpected survivor... a fierce Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The relationship and bond that forms between the two as they drift across the pacific is the heart and soul of the movie. It's a relationship that works magnificently.
The movie's imagery is like art in motion. There are images that will last forever in history... and all are in stereoscopic 3D. The 3D stereographer (Brian Gardner; whom I had the pleasure of meeting while living in Los Angeles) was also the stereoscopic consultant on Coraline, another brilliant 3D movie. His sterography is beyond stunning... it's a measure of brilliance. Ang Lee was right to choose him as his stereographer because the depth in this movie was so perfect to the story. When Pi needs to be on his own little raft away from the lifeboat, and the tiger, the distance can be felt. The vast emptyness of the ocean... the massive waves of a sea storm... the world is alive because of the 3D. However, all the 3D images work in unison with Claudio Miranda's impressive cinematography. It's his choices in color and lenses that made the images look like paintings. Although, there was a lot of digital artwork as well. Overall the imagery is a fine accomplishment deserving of the Best Cinematography nomination it's sure to get. And this was shot digitally on the Arri Alexa with Cameron | Pace Fusion Rigs.
The sound design and music was cerebral. It added so much to the atmosphere, and made it so that the world was rich with life. Another contender for nominations this year, and by in large it deserves it.
The movie did have a slow pace, and that caused it to drag a bit. Although for a movie as esoteric as this it can be accepted. However, the flashback storytelling device did become a chore to put up with. It only added a little, but not enough to make it worth the time. It would have been preferred to see the whole story in a linear fashion, and only at the end have the framing device used. That's a small nitpick however.
This is a must see movie. It's a wonderful movie to start a debate and to figure out the personality of anyone that goes to see it. Which interpretation of the film do they have? For me the story of the young man who survives a shipwreck and journeys with a Bengal tiger on a lifeboat is the one I'd like to see over and over again.
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