When I sat down with my cinema buddy tonight to watch Life of Pi, 3D glasses at the ready, I said “I’m excited to see this film!” The trailers really made Life of Pi look spectacular so I had high expectations. I haven’t read the book, so had no preconceptions of the story line – just a boy in a boat with a Tiger. So what exactly was I expecting?!
The film was pretty slow to start, it follows Pi’s quest to find religion. There is a lot of God talk which I don’t necessarily find appealing but it is the crux of the story so I’ll let it go. Actually it was quite interesting to hear Pi’s view on how religion can be interchangeable and you don’t have to practise just one faith. However it was starting to lose my interest, as was the case for some idiots sat behind us who started to talk and giggle throughout the rest of the movie. (I hate these people and would burn them at the stake – no consideration for others and it’s just plain rude, do you think you are the only ones who have paid money to enjoy this film at the cinema you morons, shut the eff up!). Back to the film! The family own a Zoo, but times are hard and they have to sell up. Taking their animals with them, they pack up, board a Japanese freighter ship and head to Canada.
Father “We will sail like Columbus”
Pi “But he was looking for India!”
At this point I was thinking, the ships got to sink soon and the film will really start. Thank goodness, a storm hits! Pi, the mentalist, goes out on the deck to see what’s going on and it invariably saves his bacon and he isn’t drowned in his bedroom where he left his family. Wow, the scenes of the ship sinking and Pi being flung around in the life boat are breath taking. Specifically when he is flung into the ocean being battered by waves, you can’t tell which way is up. Suddenly he see’s the ship with its lights on sinking past him and his silhouette floats in front of it. Really fantastic, beautiful shot.
After this, Pi is left in a life boat with a Zebra, an Orangutan, a Hyena and eventually a large Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.
There is a lot of beauty about this film, capturing the astonishing awesomeness of the ocean. Particularly when the water is still and it reflects the sky so vividly. These scenes I think I will remember for a long time. But the contrast between the tranquillity of a calm sea, and the raw animalism of a storm is fantastic. Of course the Tiger, Richard Parker, is also amazing. I have always had a love for Tigers, they are the most strikingly beautiful, majestic, powerful animals on the planet in my opinion. You feel a connection with the Tiger just as Pi does, and it is heart breaking to know that the animal will always be just that, an animal – not capable of showing you love or affection no matter how much you will it to happen.
The actor Suraj Sharma who played Pi was brilliant, an unknown who showed up to support his brother and ended up getting the role himself. As were the supporting cast, the adult version of Pi, Irrfan Khan did a great job of telling the story to a not as convincing novelist played by Rafe Spall (yawn!). Randomly the Cook was played by Gerard Depardieu, but was only in it for a matter of minutes (or was he, which story do you prefer?).
Over all I found myself getting a little bored through this film which I am disappointed with as I was all ready to be raving about how amazing it was. The 3D for me didn’t add that much to the film itself, and the best shots are in the trailers. In fact I think the high frame rate in The Hobbit had a better effect than the 3D did in this ‘visual spectacular’.
Pi does have a fantastic journey, and I felt for him the whole way, but the ending killed it for me and I left the cinema thinking, “Did I enjoy that? I can’t tell.” I’d love to know what you thought or what your expectations are?