I recently had the pleasure of seeing the movie Life of Pi at the cinema in the 3D. Before I went in, however, I had a feeling that the viewing wasn’t going to be as pleasurable as it was. Judging from the trailer and poster, I thought the film looked boring and pointless, frankly. I went in with a smile though, as we were there for my boyfriend’s birthday choice of film. And I should have trusted him, because like always, he picked a great movie.
Life of Pi was beautiful.
From the very beginning of the movie I was engrossed, not just because it was stimulating visually but also because of promises of a story that would ‘make anyone believe in God’. There was also a great, likable main character in Pi played by some hypnotizing actors (Gautem Belur plays youngest Pi, Ayush Tandon plays 11 year old Pi, and Suraj Sharma plays the older Pi we see in the majority of the film, with of course narration from grown-up Pi Irrfan Khan) who kept the whole story believable while being so fantastical. Oh, and the back story of how Pi came to have his different name made me smile.
The movie goes for just over 2 hours, which is generally too long for me and my attention span (and my bladder) so I went in apprehensive of the length of time I would have to sit there bored. To my surprise the time flew by, nothing called my attention to the passing of it until the very end of the film when I came out of my entranced state and found that I could have sat there happily for another 30 minutes (my bladder would not have understood longer than this) If you’re somebody who doesn’t like to see films longer than the usual 90 minutes then don’t fret, the film doesn’t feel long.
Most of the story is set on a life boat after the sinking of the cargo ship Pi and his family were travelling on with the animals from their zoo, and a cynical viewer might assume that a lot of the movie being set in one location would get repetitive and boring, but thankfully, the scenes are interesting, inspire hope in you, and don’t play themselves out twice.
What audience would like Life of Pi? When we saw this movie, we were sitting in a cinema with people aged between 5 and about 70, and not one of those children complained / started playing in their seats / had to leave halfway through, they in fact laughed at all the right parts all the way through which means it captured and held their attention, and all of the older people sat in rapt attention also. We saw the film with my boyfriend’s mum and she loved it just as much as us early-twenties people. I think the film can be enjoyed by any age: older people can enjoy the deeper side of the story and children can enjoy the animals, adventure and humour. We can all enjoy the story and beauty.
Dialogue is often funny, and placed well. Main characters are likable and you want them to succeed in their conflicts. The 3D effects for once actually enhance the film rather than take away from it, and CGI is used equally well. Nothing about the tiger and Pi’s relationship is corny.
Oh yeah, the Tiger, Richard Parker.
He’s not a cheesy, friend-of-the-humans tiger, he’s a real bad-ass, territorial tiger who is more of a comrade of Pi’s than a mate.
But even a comrade needs a pat every now and then. Yeah, you’ll like him.
Life of Pi is 2 hours well spent with either your children (but not too young), your parents, friends or your partner. Anybody who appreciates a good story (it really is more of a tale than a standard movie plot) will enjoy this. As someone who was happily surprised, I recommend my first film to you.