Life of Pi (2012)
Life of Pi
Director: Ang Lee
Writers: David Magee, Yann Martel
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Ayush Tandon, Gautam Belur, Tabu, Ayan Khan, Mohd Abbas Khaleeli, Vibish Sivakumar, Rafe Spall, Gérard Depardieu, James Saito, Jun Naito, Andrea Di Stefano, Shravanthi Sainath
Synopsis: A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril
Arguably the most beautiful movie that I've ever seen....(Warning: Possible Spoilers)
In an era where most movies are void of imagination, and creativity, "Life of Pi" comes along to breath life again into Hollywood; while showing us that films can still be a piece of art in today's modern world. Based on the novel by Yann Martel, "Life of Pi" centers around an Indian man named Pi.
Although when you think about the premise of the story, it may not sound like much to some people. In fact, I've even met quite a few people that ask, "How the hell do you make a movie about a guy stranded on a boat with a tiger?" Take in mind, a lot of these same people have admitted to never seeing the film, yet they're very quick to judge it based on trailers. However, what those same people fail to understand is, sometimes stories can convey very complex messages and themes; in spite of how simplistic a premise can seem on the surface. Granted, on the surface, the plot may not sound like much, but the story is actually a lot deeper than you might think.
The film is told primarily through flashback sequences, as Pi recounts the events that happened in his life. Recalling from when he was a child about how he came to idolize the Hindu gods, as if they were superheroes to him; while also pointing out how he discovered Jesus Christ, and how came to believe in both Hindu and Christianity. Heck, we even learn how Pi got his unusual name as well. However, the story gets even more interesting, when Pi finally grows up.
From there, we see Pi recount his first love affair, and how he struggled with the concept that his family was moving to Canada; due to the financial situation of the zoo that his family ran. Reluctant at first, Pi inevitably travels to Canada along with his family. The crew is less than hospitable to them, as Pi's mother tells the chef how both her and Pi are vegetarians. Sadly, the chef is less than helpful, and mocks her openly in front of Pi's family. Needless to say, this causes Pi's father to get angry with him.
To make matters worse, the boat gets caught up in a storm, and ends up sinking to the bottom of the ocean. It's never revealed how the boat sank to begin with, but it seems Pi is one of the few survivors that manages to find one of the few life boats left. At first, he thinks he's the sole survivor, but he soon finds out that's not the case at all. And from here, this is where the real story begins.
As audiences watch the film, we come to find out that the story could be interpreted in different ways; allowing for the audience to make up their own minds on what transpired. On the one hand, a person could go into this movie believing it's a story about a man that survived a horrific boat sinking. However, along the way, he's forced to do something so horrendous that it forces him to live in fear of the beast that resides inside him. Fabricating a story that allows him to live with the extreme guilt he felt, from performing such an act for survival.
Or on the other hand, a person could see this movie as a man that survives a tragic boat sinking, as he recounts the incredibly true story about his journey to survive. A story so grand that it'll make you believe he found god again, through adversity. An enchanted tale too good to be true that you have to see it to believe it. Take in mind, Pi even admits that the two stories he tells about what happened, after the boat sinking, can't be proven, nor is it ever revealed in the film. Therefore, which story do you choose to believe?
It's an open ended scenario that works well in this movie's favor. Not only is it the type of film that challenges it's viewers psychologically about what they perceived might have happened, but it's also a movie that carries a lot of deep resonating themes that stick with you long after you've seen it.
As for the cinematography and camera angles, it's simply a piece of art to watch in itself. Even if the story would've outright sucked, the visuals alone are worth the price of admission to see "Life of Pi." The "3-D" cinematography enhances the fantasy elements of the story, and the visual effects are nothing short of spectacular. In fact, I'd dare even say this is arguably the most visually impressive film that I've ever seen since "Avatar."
It's easy to see why "Life of Pi" has garnered so much praise around Oscar time, as it's definitely well deserving of it. Combining a simplistic story narrative that features a lot of complex subtle themes, while combining it with visuals on par with almost any movie, and you have yourself arguably the most beautiful movie ever made. Definitely a must see film for anyone at a rating of four out of four.