The Life of Pi 2 hours 6 minutes of heaven Ang Lee, Director Suraj Sharma as Pi. Taken from novel by Yann Martel with Screen Play by David Magee
I wasn’t prepared for the effect this movie would have on me. Ang Lee, also directed the remarkable “Slum Dog Millionaire” and is a giant in the industry. Lee won a “Best Director” Oscar for a reason.
This was the story of an Indian boy’s childhood being the son of the owner of a zoo in India. A young Pi devours books and surrenders his curiosity to the three great religions: Hindu, Islam and Christianity. With intelligence, he endeavors to the find the more valuable lessons that each religion espouses. When political unrest endangers his family, the father, who does not believe in religion, contracts a Japanese ship to transport his family to safety. The zoo animals are also shipped from India to Canada, where he hopes to sell the animals to earn money to live. During the journey, the ship encounters a massive storm which sinks the ship and all within, except for Pi, an orangutan, hyena, zebra and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
One by one the zebra is eaten by the hyena, and then the orangutan is killed. Finally, the tiger kills the hyena leaving only Pi and himself to the lifeboat. This is their story of survival. What a story it is!
The visuals are spectacular. While some of the method used in the film “Avatar” come to mind, these exceed with a more advanced visual system, leaving Avatar far behind. The animals look real. The scenes of the sunken ship, of the stunning cloud formulations, of an ocean at rest reflecting a brilliant universe; of the stars and the fish… I could go on forever, are simply exquisite. They affected me deeply. I have less than twelve movies to my personal portfolio, but you can bet this one will be added.
Add to that experience of those visuals to Pi’s own-developing philosophy on Life and you will have a truly unique if not spiritual experience. He survives with the best of the three religions helping to bring him peace on a frightful 227-day journey at sea. In respecting the tiger, Pi eventually tames him by helping him survive. Indeed, if you are spiritual person to begin with you will savor this movie’s transcendent message. This movie lends itself to introspection and reflection by the arresting visual beauty and the dialogue. If you are not spiritual, the visuals are so fantastic that it will capture your imagination and your heart, anyway.
The controversial ending will leave open a vibrant after-movie conversation as to which ending you prefer.★★★★★