Film Festival Today

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Film Review: “Life of Pi”

Written by: josh | November 22nd, 2012

Many claimed that the best selling novel Life of Pi was unfilmmable.  Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) rose to the challenge of interpreting the complex novel onto the big screen and the result is absolutely stunning.  With deep symbolic meaning, beautiful imagery, and the best 3D technology in a film since Avatar, Life of Pi is a visual masterpiece.

Life of Pi is about a boy named Pi and his story of survival on the Pacific Ocean.  Pi and his family own a zoo in India.  After some complications, the family has to leave India and move to Canada.  They decide to sell the animals in North America so the family and the animals travel by ferry to their new home.  During a storm, the ship sinks killing everyone on board except for Pi who manages to climb aboard a life raft.  However, he is not alone on this raft as he soon discovers that a vicious Bengal tiger is on board with him.  Pi must find a way to survive during this ultimate test of faith and perseverance.

Life of Pi is by far the most beautiful film to come out this year and perhaps the last ten years.  There are two parts to the beauty.  One is that the film itself is beautiful to look at and two is the story is beautiful all on its own.  The film is over two hours but I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen for a second.  There are sequences where Pi is under water and it feels like you’re watching a deep sea National Geographic homage.  There are other scenes where the ocean is completely still and it is a cloudless night.  The moon and stars illuminate the sky and reflect off of the water making it look like Pi is just floating through the sky.  Even the CGI used in this film is breath-takingly realistic.  There are many scenes where they use a CGI tiger instead of a real one but I honestly could not tell the difference.  The tiger looked amazing and the person who was able to design something like that on a computer should be proud.  The 3D is used perfectly in Life of Pi.  I’m the type of person that can’t stand 3D.  I see it as a ploy to just get audience members to spend more money for one or two moments where it kind of looks 3D.  In Life of Pi, however, the 3D is used as another form of art.  The 3D makes the film literally come out at you, delivering a more enjoyable experience.  I encourage anyone seeing this film, to see it in 3D.  It is one of the rare moments where 3D works.

The story of Pi is gorgeous.  Many may fear that the message is too religious but I promise this film is not trying to shove religion down your throat.  Yes, Pi goes through a test of faith but I saw it as more symbolic to other life struggles.  Instead of a film about religion, this is more a film about the meaning of life.  What was great about this film was that it had so much symbolism, that it can be interpreted in many different ways.  Life of Pi will surely spark many conversations on the car ride home.

Films like these excite me.  I feel that the best films are forms of art and Life of Pi can definitely be seen as artistic.  Watching this film is like watching a picture being painted.  Every scene is this movie is visually perfect.  The film is so gorgeous to watch unfold, that I feel like it should be placed in a museum.  From the moment Life of Pi starts, Ang Lee takes you into his world of cinematic beauty and carries you on an emotional roller coaster.  Life of Pi is a movie experience that you won’t forget.  A

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