by: Uel Ceballos
No film has ever awed me like the “Life of Pi” did. This is certainly one of the most beautiful and enthralling films I’ve ever seen in my years of being a film enthusiast. Director Ang Lee never fails to deliver film with a poetic beauty on such finest and most enthralling spectacles.
The film is based from a novel of the same title written by Yann Martel, focusing to Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel whose faith is challenged by adversity and catastrophic event that have nearly thrown him into lethargic solitary if Richard Parker hadn’t made it to the lifeboat when the Japanese freighter Tsimsum met its doom. Only that Richard Parker is the last companion that you would ever pray to have whether in an island or in a lifeboat that measured only for 30 headcounts of survivors. This is all for the reason that Richard Parker is not like anyone of us, he’s a fierce and strong 450-pound Bengal tiger who consumed ten pounds of meat a day. Imagine being with him for 227 days in the midst of Pacific just like Pi had experienced when the shipwreck happened.
The book itself is already an astounding masterpiece that it interested producers to adopt Life of Pi for a motion picture. One would be curious to think on where side of the Earth did Yann Martel inspired this story just like where hole did Tolkien dug the Hobbit and where island did Suzanne Collins find the Panem for her Hunger Games. The book was written in a manner that will set you grasping the elements of religion and spirituality for the sake of getting educated by it if not submitting to it. It’s a beautiful story that in one way or another you would hope it were all true not because you’d revel for such tragedy but because the whole event, unforgiving and calamitous on its being, carries with it a message that no one would acquire with totality otherwise experienced first-hand.
Meticulously weaving the fiction elements and sequences is one thing, rendering it into film is another story. No wonder that the project had gone through series of events before the concept was concluded and the people to work behind it were finalized. The film was made to be a 3D live action computer-animated adventure that thanks to the deity of visual effects, Life of Pi mesmerized us with its aesthetic cinematography. It would never come into your mind that Richard Parker wasn’t a real tiger at all and the place they were set into wasn’t the vast and enigmatic Pacific Ocean as you thought it was. Even the earlier parts of the movie which told Pi’s life back in Pondicherry granted us with genial sights of India in its peaceful and vibrant uniqueness of culture and tradition. Watching Life of Pi will fill your eyes with the loveliness yet ferocious temper of nature. You’ll get reminded that ocean, island, wild flora and fauna alike all share magnificent beauties along with savage attributes of which once provoked will get you near zero percent of chance to survive.
Though we viewers haven’t witnessed how everything was made in this another 3D phenomenon success after the movie Avatar, it’s needless to justify now that all was created out of scrupulous effort and years of expertise in 3D visual effect and artistic film treatment. Magic was figuratively done when the leading visual effect company Rhythm and Hues had turned the giant wave tank into Pacific Ocean and created the character of Richard Parker the tiger. One of my favourite sights in the movie is that shot of Pi standing on the boat with the water on still and reflecting the magnificent sky with hues of enticing blue and sun-orange. The scene is too powerful that dialogues are unnecessary because that few seconds of the silent view can already speak for itself – such profound, deeply moving beauty is both communicative and prevailing, the kind of artistic approach that Ang Lee is well adept at.
Not only that Life of Pi was able to intrigue us with its promising technological prowess but it did set us all curious of the leading cast Suraj Sharma who is fresh and inexperienced in acting but did a knockout performance in his role of Pi. Ang Lee has given the film an interesting appeal when he chose international casts for the movie, cutting off from the potential list those who appeared to be inharmoniously recognizable among the others.
For those who haven’t watched this movie yet, go and find time to see. This will surely worth your time and will touch your soul.