Life of Pi (2012) Review

Pi Patel has an incredible story from an incredible unexpected adventure. After a shipwreck in the Pacific open Pi is left stranded with Richard Parker . . . Did I meant that he’s a Bengal tiger?

Before we hear about Pi’s incredible journey we are given his story from when he was a child and how he found religion three different times and his father was not happy that he was practicing all three at the same time. But he claims that his faith saved him on the day of the shipwreck.

His family is moving from India to Canada when they are on a ship that is caught in an awful storm and it ends up sinking. Luckily for Pi he was curious about the storm and not actually in bed when the worst of it hit, hence his survival. With a few of the animals they were transporting to Canada, that makes more sense if you know they family had a zoo in India.

The trailer for this film has been attached to pretty much every film for the past few months. So getting to see this film in an early preview last night was brilliant. The film was slightly different to how I thought it was going to be, but I really did find it rather amazing. To be able to keep the audience on the edge of your seat and really feel for Pi as he fights for survival. Building himself a raft to keep himself save from Richard Parker, you cannot help but hope that the tiger will tame. Obviously that isn’t going to happen but that really is how this film makes you feel towards the tiger and Pi.

The visual aspects of this film really are stunning the different animals throughout the water and sky look incredible on the big screen. I saw the film in 3D and felt at times that I actually forgot that it was in 3D. That has to be a good thing as we didn’t have the usual things popping out of the screen and jumping at you. It was used in a fantastic way to make you feel part of it rather than anything over the top, I still think the film will be visually stunning in 2D as well.

This film has to be up there at the Oscars next year, it really does have nominations written all over it. Plus they just love Ang Lee as well, I won’t be complaining when it picks up nominations. The story and performance from Suraj Sharma really make you care about Pi, where he has come from the experience he had out at sea and where he managed to get in his life.

An older Pi telling his story to a writer who wants to use the story in a book, we don’t really flashback to that happening very often. I liked the way that happened in the story as it broke up the different ages Pi was when something important happened. Once we are at sea it stays at sea, I think that was important as if it kept flashing back and forwards it would have taken away some of the magic of the story.

But then we hear a different story with a twist, do we really have to decide which story is real? I don’t believe we do after the last lines of the report!

I enjoyed this film a lot more than I expected to from when it first started. I felt that the running time flew over, that’s something that doesn’t always happen when a film breaks the two-hour mark, but honestly I was surprised when it was ended as did not feel that long at all.

7 thoughts on “Life of Pi (2012) Review

  1. I’m surprised that you saw the trailer and then found the movie to be only “slightly different” from your expectations. The trailers that I saw made it seem that the movie was heavily reliant on CGI and 3-D. I had relegated it to nothing more than “Avatar” with a tiger, and eye candy alone is insufficient to get me to watch a movie.

    Then I was “forced” to watch it and was very happily surprised. The movie actually has a plot — and a good one too. The FX were simply a vehicle — necessary to tell the story visually, but nothing more.


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