Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Life of Pi Review

I thought the trailer looked cool and I had heard very good things.  Yet I was still skeptical going into this one because trailers often show you everything in the wrong context.  If you've read the book, you may think the story is unfilmable.  It's a pretty out there adventure and very surreal.  Fifteen to twenty years ago, this probably would have been unfilmable.  But thanks to the magic of CGI and deep producer pockets, there's really nothing they can't bring to the screen.  Life of Pi is actually the movie that 3D was made for.  Through the judicious use of 3D and some very good set design and CGI effects, Ang Lee brings the viewer into a world that is surreal yet very real at the same time.  A lot of the time, 3D is used to throw stuff at the audience.  And they do some of that here.  And it's so real that I actually ducked out of the way three times.  But only those three times.  The rest of the time it was just used to give the film a tremendous depth and feeling.

The film is a lot like Cast Away in the fact that there's a lot of screen time where Pi is the only human and he has to interact with animals and inanimate objects.  This is a lot easier to do in the book because the narrator can take his time and paint a picture of what is happening.  Translating that to an actual picture is a very difficult thing to do.  But Lee does it perfectly.  In the scenes where not much is happening on the ocean, you still get a real sense of loneliness and despair from the proper use of camera angles, a perfectly still ocean and the resulting abyss in the water's reflections.

Other than the fantastic visuals that absolutely envelope the imagination, there isn't a whole lot to say.  The book relied on painting that picture and so does the movie.  But I must say that the casting was done very well too.  In particular, Suraj Sharma is brilliant as Pi Patel.  Just like the fantastic performance by Tom Hanks in Cast Away, Sharma takes you through all of the emotions that you might expect in his predicament without fault.  From out loud laughter to tears, you feel just about everything due to his performance.  He also looked like he could grow up to be Irrfan Khan who does a very solid job as the adult Pi.

If you haven't read the book, you can still enjoy the movie first.  I don't think it would ruin the book for you.  But if you have read the book, you should still love the movie because it brings all those imaginations you had during the reading to life (the island in particular).  In either case, see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment