Monday, November 26, 2012

Watching The Life of Pi (2012)

I read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel about 2 years ago, and I liked it, so I wanted to go see the new film, just out this week. So yesterday, I did.

I loved the movie just as much as the book (if not more). It was really moving; it's a story about life and death, but the directors also had some fun with it (there are some humorous parts). The story-line is fairly simple: Piscine Molitor Patel (or Pi) lives in India. is family owns a zoo, and they decide to move across world to Canada, taking their animals with them. The ship is wrecked, and Pi winds up on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and Richard Parker, the zoo's Bengal tiger. In short order, only Pi and the tiger are left, and they must learn to survive together.

This film was in 3D, which allowed for some stunning special effects in the scenes at sea (though also at the zoo). The opening credits show many animals at the zoo, but little of it is shown after that. But in the ocean, there are bright fish, strange luminous jellyfish, dolphins, and whales. Some of them are more scary than Richard Parker himself. The island with the meerkats was well portrayed with its creepy carnivorous tendencies.

The movie is set up a little differently from the book. A young novelist (maybe Yann Martel?) has met Pi's honorary uncle, who told him to meet Pi, now a middle-aged man (or a little younger). Pi tells the writer his story, which is sad, but also full of hope. I also liked the other story that Pi tells at the end, the story he told the Japanese, and how the zebra represented the sailor, the orangutan his mother, the hyena the cook, and he, the tiger. That other story is probably more realistic, but: which do you prefer?

I loved the scenes in India and in the ocean, and would highly recommend this lovely movie, especially if you've read the book.

4.5 stars.

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