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Plot: Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zoo keeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival. Runtime: 127 mins Release Date: 20 Nov 2012
Saw this the other night at the NYFF. Wow. It's an incredible film, a true cinematic achievement, possibly a classic and maybe will be the first 3D movie to break through and win the Best Picture Oscar. Some of the images were so beautiful that the audience gasped at many of them. I felt transported and like I was seeing a movie for the very first time. I haven't felt that sort of magic in a movie theater in a long, long time.I read the book and liked it and the film may even improve upon it which is kind of a miracle considering it's kids, animals and water just about all the <more>
time. The spiritual themes are simple and deep and raise more questions about faith and belief than answer anything. No preaching going on here and there could be. Without giving anything away, it's a wonderful story about storytelling and how telling our stories can get us through the most horrible life experiences and to help deal with the aftermath of them.It's an incredible film experience. Go see it!
Probably the Most Complete Film of the Year (by damh_frikinlater)
The movie narrates an incredible story using the most beautiful special effects and great actors.It is more that a survival story and it is not about friendship. This story is about faith. Director Ang Lee use all the tools he have to make this movie about a solitary young man not a boring one. It is narrated by both, young Pi and the Adult Pi, it uses music all the time so there is not space for uncomfortable silents and the rhythm of the scenes is fast. The result a very entertained film.The most important thing of this film is it character. It is obvious because we are seeing for almost 2 <more>
hours just one character. So it is not only important to have a great character that appeals to the audience feelings, but to have an actor that portray this person the right way. Suraj Sharma was brilliant as Pi. He can make happy scenes as equal as sad, desperate, hopelessness, exhaustion and anger ones. Very few movies allow an actor represent so many emotions.But if Pi is a good character, Richard Parker can only be describe as unique. The tiger as personality of it's own. Not many films can make an animal with so many human features and yet never stop being a wild animal. This tiger is computed animated but the audience will barely notice, because the way it walks, eats, its factions, the eyes. It doesn't matter if it is computer animation, Richard Parker is alive and is his own character just as important as Pi is.If you think that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" have good animal effects, you have to see how this people make a zebra, a hyena and a orangutan. All this, combine with a photography created by the same guy that make "Tron: Legacy" looks so cool and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" so beautiful, Claudio Miranda, makes it an incredible experience to see.This movie is definitely an Oscar runner for Special Effects, Cinematography, Director and Movie of the year.
Great movie, but a great director! (by chaudharyabhijit)
Few movies will leave a lasting impression on you..Life of Pi is one of those. Not even a single moment is dull, in fact the story is woven so tightly that you never realize that the script is so simple. It is beautifully directed and kudos to Ang Lee, not only was he able to capture the beauty of India, he was also able to get the best of the actors. Though it does not rank too high on 3D, its just visually mesmerizing. My trust and faith in Ang Lee has gone up to the highest level after watching this movie..Luckily I was able to catch the premiere show and will continue to relish the after <more>
I was lucky enough to see Pi in full 3D Imax at a pre-viewing in San Diego last night, and as a huge fan of the book, I was intensely satisfied.Believe it or not, I was more impressed with the the casting choices and performances of the players than by the effects. Granted, the movie was very beautiful, but in the end, Life Of Pi was more character driven than anything. Suraj Sharma as the young Pi was charming, funny, and incredibly engaging, while Irrfan Khan as the older Pi was fantastically genuine and warm. Adil Hussain as Pi's father was also a joy to watch. The characters are so <more>
rich and full of life that you really can't help but fall in love with them. I would also like to add, as someone who spends time with tigers on a daily basis, the animators did a wonderful and accurate job of bringing Richard Parker to life and making him the active and vital character that is so incredibly essential to the success of this story. I would recommend seeing Pi in 3D, but I don't think that's it's essential to your viewing enjoyment. The 3D just takes a beautiful film and makes it a little bit nicer. Also, if you've read the book and are concerned that the story you loved may have been compromised in anyway, worry no longer. This is easily, one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen.Happy viewing folks. I hope you enjoy this film as much as I did. I'll be seeing it again in theaters very soon.
Just finished watching the Midnight Premiere. Did not disappoint one bit. The Acting is incredibly believable, and the ending ties it all together. The story sorta drags in the beginning, but Ang Lee did a good job keeping my attention to the film. The Animation is incredibly realistic. I couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what wasn't. Not one moment did I doze off. Definitely worth 127 minutes of your life. Ang Lee, you did an outstanding job. To the Cast, you all did excellent. I am very satisfied! Although there were a lot of pros, there were some cons. At one <more>
point the Format of the Film switched from 16:9 to 4:3, but that might have been the projector at the Cinemark I attended. I also noticed some of the animations of animals started to go off screen and you could see the animated objects in the black area of the Wide Screen part I'm assuming that was for the 3D, but I watched it in 2D so it looked sketchy . But it's minor. An average viewer won't even notice it, I'm an aspiring filmmaker, and I notice the little things!! I enjoyed the film, and you will too. 9/10. Worth it.
A visually opulent triumph of film-making! (by cnitinb)
Ang lee's life of pi is an adaptation of a 'Man booker prize winner' novel by the same name, written by Yann Martel. It's a story set in the late seventies of an Indian teenager Pi Patel who is stranded on a life boat in the pacific. What distinguishes this tale of survival from the rest is that the author dishes out a delicious slice of creativity in giving the castaway, a tiger for a companion. Yes, like the posters and trailers have you believe, there is a boat on which a man and a tiger have to live! This makes 'life of pi' not only a story of human struggle <more>
against nature but also a profound tale that questions 'what separates man from beast?'. More interestingly, 'when does man become a beast'? But worry not, Ang Lee's movie does not force you think on these lines , instead it's a film that lets you enjoy it on so many levels. If you are just looking for a beautiful 3D movie to feast your eyes , Life of pi can be it. If you are in a mood for a thrilling adventure epic on weekend, this is the right ticket. If indeed, you want to experience something thoughtful, Life of pi never forces you on a particular thought, instead it whispers ever so slightly to think about matters of human disposition and finding comfort in convention while caressing your senses with fabulous visuals and background score. Suraj Sharma debuts as pi with utter sincerity while Irfan Khan as adult pi and Tabu as mother do justice to their parts. The rest of the supporting cast blend in perfectly too. Ang lee helms the film with difficult source material with absolute grace and expertise. However there are two true heroes that make Life of Pi work. Firstly the studio and creative director behind the magnificent CGI. The Bengal tiger is perhaps the best animated animal ever created! The angry green eyes, richly textured orange –white striped skin and every hair on its fur look rich and full of life in 3D.And then when your hear the thunderous roar for the first time, you will realize this is as real as it can get! The rest of the animals a Zebra, an orangutan look great too. The lovely blue ocean and its resident creatures are the jewel in the crown. The other hero is the writer David Magee screenplay who adapts the novel with near perfection. One gripe the fans of the novel might have is the lack of all the gore descriptions and a particular chapter that deals with the surviving 'French cook'. The addition of these might have pleased the audience who sought for the philosophical undertones from the story but the film would have lost out on the large PG-13 crowd a fair deal considering the enormous budget . Life of Pi, is a rare masterpiece that stands as a prototype not only for a perfect book adaptation and a 3D movie sorry avatar, you have just been replaced , but also for a movie based on intricacies of human nature . Now that is simply an impressive triumph of film-making!
How is it that Scorsese can get 3D so wrong and someone like Ang Lee get it so right?Sure, there is some dimensional silliness — a hummingbird in the first few moments... a message thrown into the water that lands in our laps — but the general philosophy here is to use the technology to define *space*. Usually, we are given an array of objects, but here the goal is space itself.I have been seeing very few movies recently, but I think so far as the handling of space, this film is important — a real advance over what went before. Compare for instance the handling of the water in the <more>
shipwreck to that of "Titantic" or "Perfect Storm" or "White Squall." The water here is architectural, dynamic but conceived as a whole. When I've noted previous advances in the cinema of space, they have been less in the architecture and more in the introduction of height, the position of the virtual camera and the emotions evoked by how that camera moves.Following the ideas of the book about the folding of experience, story-telling and religious ecstasy, we have visual metaphoric blending of underwater, various effects on the surface of water, stars, storms and modes of fluorescence in each of these. The notion is that the story with the tiger is likely fiction, and that the 'real' story was not 'as good.' We have strong hints that this is so in the written dialog, so the cinematic notion of merging dynamics below the sea with action above the sea makes sense. This begins early in the story with a shot of the famed swimming pool after which our hero is named. Late in the shot we realize the camera is underwater. Soon, the water becomes sky.But because we have shared what came before with our own eyes, we can't unknow it. It becomes folded reality.Another example: early we see a Hindu ceremony with thousands of candles floating on water. The father-voice-of-reason says "do not be fooled by the lights." Shortly thereafter we have the lights on the ship moving underwater and presumably triggering the untrusted narration. These lights were previously on the surface, and it seemed to me that the same visual cues were present in these — and later — lights as those we saw in the ceremony.This sort of visual coherence is only possible now where essentially every background is a synthesized one. When you create the world, you can create it your way.So the larger framing has an underwater with the ship named after the kabbalistic recent kabbalah, not genuine historical kabbalah notion of truth coalescing around the most attractive story. That ship is lit — again a kabbalistic reference, and the lights morph to totems: animals, symbols and memories. The sprites used in the software to model the flow of particles under the sea is used to model the turbulence on the surface and sky. Further, an associated notion is that everything must be considered as a whole situated assembly; in story terms that is the truth of coherence; in cinematic terms it is the focus on the coherence of space.Lee has always done something like this, even in his student films about dinner tables. In "Crouching Tiger" the fight choreography was calligraphic and was shown that way, so this was expected. But it IS an advance in the vocabulary and should be seen if only for the cinematic thrill of being present when our imagination advances a step. Note especially how the final shot does a reverse rack where the background moves closer after his feline self has 'left him.'But it fails as a compelling narrative for me. The kid in the boat seemed too Mowgli Disney perfect and not sufficiently broken to be believable. Though the cinematic tone is well thought out, it is presented too much as reality for me. The distance in abstraction between the framing device the adult recounting a version of the story and the story is too close. We might have done better to have the framing bits use a different technique, and the tiger be more supernatural.We do have *some* supernatural elements: the magical whale, the storm that seizes the written story, the fact that corpses and excrement vanish from the always sterile boat. The magical island's tooth truth . The fact that a Japanese ship packs a survival manual in English. But these are plot points, not parts of the world. Tarsem Singh might have done better in this regard.We can assume that the 'alternative story' was shot, because you wouldn't hire Gérard Depardieu for one part of one scene. Perhaps we can see it in a recut version. Hey, if Decker can be a replicant in later versions of "Bladerunner," maybe Anandi can be a life-dancer, the real narrator.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
And the story of Pi seems irrational but is logical to the core ! (by vipin88)
The symbolism of PI a mathematical annotation to irrational numbers has perhaps not been captured so beautifully ever in cinema !! Those who know India and have had the experience of spending even a few days in this enigma of a country know how confusing yet subtly philosophic this country is ...and this is exactly what the cinematic masterpiece from Ang Lee portrays ......To discover who you really are , you need to be thrown in a situation which tests your limits and then "wisdom" will be given to thee. I have not read the novel so i did not actually know what its all about when I <more>
walked into the theater and was pleasantly surprised at so many insinuations & portrayals of the Indian way of thinking of universal brotherhood. Ang Lee keeps the things in a different realm of reality which we all acknowledge does exist but perhaps are afraid to "test the waters" since we as human beings are conformists by nature and can not leave our "comfort zone" to think things in a way they should be thought of .......this is exactly why the director succeeds in drawing our attention to small but significant things which need to be understood to make the path more worthy of further discovery......Truly world class cinema with great acting and I will not hesitate in adding that the "tiger" who plays Richard Parker does deserve an Oscar this season .........
Sumptuous, CGI-Generated Images Bring Martel's Book Vividly to Life (by EUyeshima)
Everybody has their own version of the truth, and the way we frame our own stories may have a great deal to do with a higher level of consciousness for which we all strive. Such is the gist of Yann Martel's 2001 bestseller which is the basis of this visually stunning 2012 adventure drama helmed by Ang Lee "Brokeback Mountain" . I read the book several years ago and remember thinking it would make a great animated film by someone as creative as Hayao Miyazaki "Howl's Moving Castle" . CGI, however, has evolved so dramatically in the past decade that the story can <more>
be now inhabited by real actors and awash in gorgeous abstraction that melds the fantastical with the intimate quite seamlessly. Shot mostly in a giant tank in Taiwan as well as on location in India, this movie is a unique example of how technology's endless possibilities can well serve an allegorical story focused on human survival and our own individual coping mechanisms.Adapted by David Magee "Finding Neverland" , the story is framed by an interview in Montreal between a Canadian writer, a fictionalized version of Martel, and an unassuming middle-aged man named Pi. The first part of the film is a flashback set in a family-run zoo in Pondicherry, a bucolic former French colony in southern India. The central protagonist is Pi as a child whose sternly sensible father runs the zoo. We learn the origins of Pi's unusual name as it relates to an impossibly pristine pool in which his uncle swam in Paris. At once, you get a sense of the importance of both water and mathematics in Pi's early life as well as his unfiltered concept of religion. In Pi's fertile mind, which religion is a moot point as he adopts Hinduism, Christianity and Islam concurrently and despite his family's resistance. A life-endangering confrontation with a Bengal tiger under their care proves to be a turning point for Pi as he is warned by his supportive family to stay away from it. Later economic hardship prompts his father to decide to move to Canada where he plans to sell the animals.The stormy journey by freighter turns tragic around the Mariana Trench where the now-teenaged Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with an unlikely menagerie in tow. The party eventually dwindles down to two, and this is where Lee imbues the film with a surreal spirit befitting the tale as we watch the seemingly incredulous situation of Pi co-existing on the lifeboat with the same tiger we saw in his childhood encounter. Dubbed Richard Parker due to a previous mix-up in paperwork, the tiger is integral to a series of eye-catching episodes that involves flying fish pelting them with force, a plethora of glowing jellyfish at night, a breaching whale nearly capsizing the boat, a disastrous storm that carries them to the brink, and a bizarrely florid island overrun with carnivorous plants and curious meerkats. None of these episodes will surprise readers of the book, but the execution is enthralling thanks to the masterful work of Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the visual effects generated by the Rhythm & Hues Studios.Similarities to Robert Zemeckis' "Cast Away" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" are probably not without intention on Lee's part, but this movie manages to hold its own. My one complaint about the film comes toward the end when things are spelled out a bit too deliberately considering how symbolic the story has been expressed up to that point. Pi is played by four actors depicting the character at different ages. Suraj Sharma effectively portrays Pi during the challenging lifeboat sequence and obviously makes the strongest impression, but Gautam Belur and Ayush Tandon are also affecting in conveying Pi's evolving psyche during his tender childhood years. Irrfan Khan "The Namesake" plays Pi in the present with his becalming demeanor seemingly at odds with the incredulous story he tells Martel. Khan's movie wife from "The Namesake", Tabu, shows up as Pi's understanding mother, and Gérard Depardieu appears inexplicably in a cameo as the freighter ship's nasty cook. Rafe Spall "One Day" plays Martel in a rather nondescript manner. It's not a perfect film, but many of the sumptuous images will likely stick with you for a long while afterward.