movie review: ‘Life of Pi’-Beautiful imagery, emotional tension make film compelling

Elizabeth Golden

In a world so artificially beautiful, one boy must find hope in a solitary sailboat thousands of miles from civilization. “Life of Pi” tells the journey of Pi as seen in an aesthetically pleasing way fit for the mind of an artist.

Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) seems to be an average zookeeper’s son who has an unusual view of life.

He was introduced to religion at a young age and spent the majority of his childhood searching for a greater understanding of life.

Pi is heartbroken when his father announces the need to sell their zoo and move, but he is left with no other choice but to board a Japanese ship with all the animals.

When a thunderstorm hits, he jumps out of bed in excitement since he loves watching nature take its course.

If it weren’t for his desire to be closer to God through nature, Pi would have gone down with the ship.

He lost his entire family and was the only survivor stranded on a lonely lifeboat.

His only companion happened to be a carnivorous Bengal Tiger.

Pi spends the majority of the film trying to unsuccessfully tame the beast and survive in a land where surviving may seem impossible.

The story of Pi is beautiful. Director Ang Lee paints the world as if it were coming directly from a childhood fantasy.

The sea sparkles and nature seems to harmonize as if it were painting a picture of hope. The fish even appear to be dancing in rhythm with Pi’s thoughts.

Several moments are emotionally moving, especially when it comes to the crash scene. Pi’s struggle and pain is easily felt through his eyes, and the beautifully computer-generated tiger even appears to exude emotions.

Because of Pi’s strong religious background, he sees the tiger’s soul through his eyes and the feeling is transmitted through the screen into the eyes of the audience.

Although emotions are occasionally felt, the narration switches back and forth from older Pi telling the story to younger Pi experiencing the events.

This transition breaks up some of the emotional tension, making the film fall short of constantly holding the audience’s gaze.

The acting is brilliant and Sharma could possibly be nominated for the Oscar’s best actor award.

His expressions put audience members in his shoes, or lack thereof, and allow his struggle to be felt.

The cinematography will definitely win the Oscar.

No film since “Avatar” has topped the beauty created by a nonexistent world. Every moment of the film is a piece of art coming to life and beautifying the land.

Some parts of the film may be without emotion, but the story’s deeper meanings will give hope to those without.

Religion is center to the storyline, but can be translated to simply believing.

If Pi did not believe in something, he would have died with the rest of the passengers aboard the ship.

The ending is another aspect that definitely makes this film worth watching. This bold directorial move will leave the audience questioning and begging for a more concrete answer.

As a film created in 3D, this viewing experience is not necessary but does manage to enhance the already obvious beauty. A humpback whale comes to life as raindrops surround the audience. If there were one film to see in 3D, this would be it.

Although the film may not reach the success level of the book, the imagery created by the film makes it worthwhile.

For an emotional journey, read the book. For the most beautiful film created in recent years, see “Life of Pi.”

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