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'Life of Pi' Rated: PG Time: 127 min. My Rating: 3/4 stars
Movie Review: ‘Life of Pi’
© Gainesville TimesDirector Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) brings the heartwarming, perilous and exciting journey of a young boy to the big screen in this adaptation of the bestselling novel. This film, though overly lengthy, gives audiences a taste of truly being trapped in the middle of the ocean through its visual brilliance, first-rate acting, and carefully constructed plot.
Piscine “Pi” Patel (Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan) has a story to tell. “Life of Pi” is his story about overcoming the most daunting challenge that he ever faced: being lost at sea with an adult Bengal tiger for 227 days. In addition to the tiger, Pi must also survive weather, hunger, thirst and the unknown.
The majority of this film’s budget went to its stunning visual effects. There is simply no other way to explain the visual sensations of “Life of Pi.” Audiences do not watch as Pi attempts survival against all odds; they experience it. Ang Lee successfully takes a setting and turns it into an environment in which the audience revels.
“Life of Pi” also features superlative acting from its largely unknown cast. Suraj Sharma, in particular, expertly brings audiences into Pi’s world and breaks the emotional barrier between himself and the audience. Many scenes involving extreme danger evoked emotional responses from the audience.
Another noteworthy trait of “Life of Pi” is the plot. Films involving the protagonist being trapped for an extended period of time often result in a slow plot. While Pi is at sea, the plot moves smoothly, presenting action where appropriate.
Though the plot flows while Pi is at sea (no pun intended), it drags horribly beforehand. An entire 15 minutes are dedicated to explaining Pi’s name and his childhood. These scenes could be removed and the film would still carry the same emotional effect.
“Life of Pi” is definitely worth seeing. Its visuals, acting, and plot will excite audiences from beginning to end as they experience Pi’s unbelievable journey.