Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review - Life of Pi

The Life of Pi - Ang Lee's interpretation of the Yann Martel novel about a young man who survives a disaster, at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. Whilst a cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal Tiger.

Hello Film Lovers.

Welcome the newest Dr.Film review, today I am happy to say that I am finally reviewing a visually spectacular movie, which is Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi'. Based of the award winning novel written by Yann Martel. The book is treasured by millions. I feel that although this film is based of a book, it helps the viewer to visualise the story and take things away from just being words on page.

This film was released in the USA on the 21st of November 2012, and came to the UK on the 20th of December 2012. The DVD and Blu-Ray of it is available to buy now, from all good retailers.

SPOILER ALERT: You know the drill, there's going to spoilers. If you don't want to know the secrets of this film, please don't ruin it for yourself. Read this review after you've seen it. 'Life of Pi' is not a film worth spoiling. it's an experience worth sharing.

I'll start off by saying, I went along to this not really expecting much. I saw this film a few days after it came out, and it was exceedingly popular. I remember going along to an afternoon showing of it, the screen was packed. I was seeing it in 3D and  I could tell that most people were interested in seeing the special effects as well wanting to get caught up into the fantastical world of Ang Lee.

The Story is set in Canada. It's about a writer who goes to visit an Indian storyteller Pi Patel and asks him to tell his life story, so he can write about it and put into a book. So already there is some relation to the book were Ang Lee has chosen to make it feel like what happened actually did happen and the writer in this film represents Yann Martel, who would later go on to write the book and tell Pi's story to the world.

Pi tells the young writer the story of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, and the origin of his nickname. One day, his father, a zoo owner, explains that the municipality is no longer supporting the zoo and he has hence decided to move to Canada, where the animals the family owns would also be sold. They board on a Japanese cargo ship with the animals and out of the blue, there is a horrendous storm, followed by a shipwrecking.

Pi survives in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker. Pi is adrifted in the Pacific Ocean in a small boat, and with an aggressive Rickard Parker getting hungry. Pi needs to find a way to survive and quickly.

The moral line of 'Life of Pi' is visualising it for yourself and making up your own mind later, Storywise it was about Pi surviving out in the ocean and his relationship with the Tiger. But the twist that I picked up was right at the end where the Tiger vanishes on the beech, that scene really played on my mind and got me thinking, It bugged me for quite a while as to what message that was about until I cleverly figured out to my amazement. I think there was no tiger, I believe the whole animals on the boat thing was how Pi wanted us to see it and the reality of matter in this film is seeing is believing.

When Pi arrives at the Japanese embassy and explains the story that we saw, with the animals. they don't believe him. When he rewords the story and breaks it down and tells us all a story we can believe that's when it started to kick in for me. It was so cleverly done, you couldn't mistake it. It was brilliantly done.

 Ang Lee, a brilliant director who did a brilliant job. I really liked Ang Lee's work on this film. really had emotional depth to it which in turn brought out a great story.

I thought the effects were just fantastic, experiencing them in 3D is something I'll never forget.

All the scenes shot in the boat were cleverly done, done up with green or blue screen to make it look like a landscape of just water for miles on end. So believable and authentic.

However after while the scenes in the boat although they were very well shot and done, they progressed very slow. It board things out for me as far as the story telling was concerned, and the switch overs between scenes were a little distracting, I personally blame the Producer or whoever was editing it, clearly missed a few marks. wasn't as clean cut as it should have been.

In a nutshell 'Life of Pi' is a visual spectacular which plays on the mind. It really moved me. I didn't expect it to have such an emotional effect on me as it did.

I'm going to give it 8/10

Thank you for reading this review, a bit short this time but that's only because I didn't think dragging my opinion out would help matters, you very much need to make up your own mind with this movie, because it is a mind bender.

NEXT TIME: I will review Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirrin who star in 'Hitchcock'

I will post the 'Hitchcock' review on Thursday the 27th of June 2013.

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