DVD Review: Life Of Pi
From the numerous awards and award nominations, to Time Magazine’s comparison, “The Next Avatar”, Life of Pi has gotten nothing short of rave reviews. So naturally, I was interested to see what this film entailed exactly.
Right off the bat, the movie begins with such serene, naturalistic and vibrant picturesque moving images. And already, I think it’s just a given, that the next 127 minutes will be an incredible and spectacular visual treat.
The movie is essentially a story of a story (of a story, if you’re willing to go that far). Pi Patel (Irfan Khana) is a middle-aged Indian immigrant who is telling his story to a skeptic writer (Rafe Spall). Most of the story is relayed in the film through flashbacks, however this does not diminish the film but rather adds to its intensity and intrigue.
Pi Patel is named after a French public swimming pool, Piscine Molitor, but nicknamed himself Pi (the sixteenth Greek letter in the alphabet and mathematical number, 3.14) after being tired of being teased and taunted as “Pissing Patel”. His family owns a zoo in an Indian botanical garden, and Pi takes great interest in a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Alongside his interest in the tiger, teenage Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) is depicted as a thoughtful, curious and enchanted young boy, learning about life, family and religion.
His parents then decide to uproot their life, move to Canada and sell the zoo animals. Whilst in transit, the ship is victim of a storm, and Pi is stranded and separated from his family with only the company of Richard Parker, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a hyena.
From there, narrative wise, not much else really happens. Pi is stranded and the movie solely focuses on his survival in the middle of nowhere. Nevertheless, Suraj Sharma proves to be a noteworthy actor and provides a strong performance despite the isolation. As a viewer, you feel his pain, his heartbreaks, his desperation, his relief and ultimately, his pure joy.
Whilst, there is not much happening, the narrative is never lacking. There is something to be said about the films that leave you content and in awe right throughout, and allows you to travel along a circular journey, ultimately ending right where you started. Without giving too much away, the ambiguity of the ending is definitely one of the film’s greatest strengths and without trying to sound as corny as possible, increases the magic.
Honestly, this film is definitely a game changer and even, a must see. The visuals are simply magical and really, my incompetent writing skills and lacking vocabulary do not suffice to describe how visually pleasing the entire 127 minutes were.
Life of Pi does nothing short of sparking your imagination and spirituality. (FOX)
Life of Pi is out now on DVD/Blu Ray. The extra features on the release were not previewed for this review.[xrr rating=4/5]
- Suraj Sharma: a life transformed by Pi (thetimes.co.uk)
- ‘Life of Pi’ actor Suraj Sharma to star in ‘Million Dollar Arm’ (dawn.com)
- “Life of Pi”: A Visual and Spiritual Treat (pixcelation.com)