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Life of Pi
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Life of Pi More at IMDbPro »

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580 out of 673 people found the following review useful:

Wow...

10/10
Author: J Z
2 October 2012

Saw this the other night at the NYFF. Wow. It's an incredible film, a true cinematic achievement, possibly a classic and maybe will be the first 3D movie to break through and win the Best Picture Oscar. Some of the images were so beautiful that the audience gasped at many of them. I felt transported and like I was seeing a movie for the very first time. I haven't felt that sort of magic in a movie theater in a long, long time.

I read the book and liked it and the film may even improve upon it which is kind of a miracle considering it's kids, animals and water just about all the time. The spiritual themes are simple and deep and raise more questions about faith and belief than answer anything. No preaching going on here and there could be. Without giving anything away, it's a wonderful story about storytelling and how telling our stories can get us through the most horrible life experiences and to help deal with the aftermath of them.

It's an incredible film experience. Go see it!

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373 out of 456 people found the following review useful:

Probably the Most Complete Film of the Year

10/10
Author: David Maldonado from Puerto Rico
21 November 2012

The movie narrates an incredible story using the most beautiful special effects and great actors.

It is more that a survival story and it is not about friendship. This story is about faith. Director Ang Lee use all the tools he have to make this movie about a solitary young man not a boring one. It is narrated by both, young Pi and the Adult Pi, it uses music all the time so there is not space for uncomfortable silents and the rhythm of the scenes is fast. The result a very entertained film.

The most important thing of this film is it character. It is obvious because we are seeing for almost 2 hours just one character. So it is not only important to have a great character that appeals to the audience feelings, but to have an actor that portray this person the right way. Suraj Sharma was brilliant as Pi. He can make happy scenes as equal as sad, desperate, hopelessness, exhaustion and anger ones. Very few movies allow an actor represent so many emotions.

But if Pi is a good character, Richard Parker can only be describe as unique. The tiger as personality of it's own. Not many films can make an animal with so many human features and yet never stop being a wild animal. This tiger is computed animated but the audience will barely notice, because the way it walks, eats, its factions, the eyes. It doesn't matter if it is computer animation, Richard Parker is alive and is his own character just as important as Pi is.

If you think that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" have good animal effects, you have to see how this people make a zebra, a hyena and a orangutan. All this, combine with a photography created by the same guy that make "Tron: Legacy" looks so cool and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" so beautiful, Claudio Miranda, makes it an incredible experience to see.

This movie is definitely an Oscar runner for Special Effects, Cinematography, Director and Movie of the year.

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358 out of 436 people found the following review useful:

Very impressed

9/10
Author: noah_eye from San Diego
13 November 2012

I was lucky enough to see Pi in full 3D Imax at a pre-viewing in San Diego last night, and as a huge fan of the book, I was intensely satisfied.

Believe it or not, I was more impressed with the the casting choices and performances of the players than by the effects. Granted, the movie was very beautiful, but in the end, Life Of Pi was more character driven than anything. Suraj Sharma as the young Pi was charming, funny, and incredibly engaging, while Irrfan Khan as the older Pi was fantastically genuine and warm. Adil Hussain as Pi's father was also a joy to watch. The characters are so rich and full of life that you really can't help but fall in love with them. I would also like to add, as someone who spends time with tigers on a daily basis, the animators did a wonderful and accurate job of bringing Richard Parker to life and making him the active and vital character that is so incredibly essential to the success of this story.

I would recommend seeing Pi in 3D, but I don't think that's it's essential to your viewing enjoyment. The 3D just takes a beautiful film and makes it a little bit nicer. Also, if you've read the book and are concerned that the story you loved may have been compromised in anyway, worry no longer. This is easily, one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen.

Happy viewing folks. I hope you enjoy this film as much as I did. I'll be seeing it again in theaters very soon.

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292 out of 348 people found the following review useful:

The most imaginative film this year

Author: John DeSando (jdesando@columbus.rr.com) from Columbus, Ohio
21 November 2012

''I had to tame him,'' (Pi) realizes. ''It was not a question of him or me, but of him and me. We were, literally and figuratively, in the same boat." From Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

You will see no more imaginative film this year than Life of Pi, whose conceit of a young Indian boy stranded with a Bengal Tiger in a lifeboat amid the Pacific Ocean is fantastical yet real in its metaphoric implications. While the framing device of a story told to a stranger uses the old flashback, the lonely lifeboat is as new as any story told in the last century.

The film begs interpretation from the multiplicity of religions to the place of mankind in a hostile, Darwinian world. Ultimately the benign brotherhood of beasts and humans is affirmed not so much by lofty philosophy but by the necessity of man and beast working together to survive.

The digital rendering of animals, especially the Bengal Tiger, is beautiful to behold. The opening scene in Pi's family zoo could be right out of Terence Malick's visionary camera, a montage of nature gorgeous in its simplicity. The several formalistic shots of the boat at night are worthy of the best lighting in the best aquariums in the world. Together with the impressive use of 3D, director Ang Lee has visually taken us from the opulence of Crouching Tiger and the minimalism of Brokeback Mountain into a fusion world of fancy and reality. The images are stunning.

In the end, Lee is interested in the individual's place in the universe as he struggles to harness nature and yet live in harmony with these elements. The conflict with the gross cook aboard the Japanese cargo ship taking Pi's family and animals to Canada is emblematic of the challenges facing the gifted with the groundlings. Pi's relationship with tiger "Richard Parker" represents all mankind's struggle to live in harmony with the forces it cannot control.

"Believing in everything is the same as believing in nothing," says Pi's father because Pi samples religions from Hinduism and Buddhism to Catholicism and Judaism and wants them all. Although it is not given to us to have them all, Pi's piety practically makes us believers in the universal brotherhood.

The Life of Pi is everyone's life; the film is one of the best of the year and, even remembering the greatness of The Old Man and the Sea, Moby Dick, and Billy Budd, the best you will ever see about a boy, a tiger, and a boat.

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212 out of 274 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, but a great director!

9/10
Author: chaudharyabhijit from United States
15 November 2012

Few movies will leave a lasting impression on you..Life of Pi is one of those. Not even a single moment is dull, in fact the story is woven so tightly that you never realize that the script is so simple. It is beautifully directed and kudos to Ang Lee, not only was he able to capture the beauty of India, he was also able to get the best of the actors. Though it does not rank too high on 3D, its just visually mesmerizing. My trust and faith in Ang Lee has gone up to the highest level after watching this movie..Luckily I was able to catch the premiere show and will continue to relish the after effects of the movie for the next few days!

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165 out of 201 people found the following review useful:

Powerful storytelling and splendid performances presented in a brilliant 3D

9/10
Author: Davor Blazevic (davor.blazevic@yahoo.com) from Croatia
3 January 2013

With his latest movie, "Life of Pi", Ang Lee further establishes himself as one of the greatest contemporary movie directors. Starting from his Taiwanese beginnings, and his highly enjoyable, family-harmonizing "Father Knows Best" trilogy (1992-1994), through his Academy Award winning works on gracefully choreographed, highly spiritualized Far East martial arts tour de force "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000, best foreign-language film) and on an uncommon yet nostalgic portrayal of the Old West in "Brokeback Mountain" (2005, best director), to his other titles like "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), "The Ice Storm" (1997), and "Lust, Caution" (2007), quality and Kubrick-like versatility shown in his movies offer continuous attraction for wide audience of his admirers.

Lee's latest and, so far, easily, greatest movie, "Life of Pi" is based on a screenplay adapted from the acclaimed fictional adventure novel written by Canadian author Yann Martel.

Throughout his childhood, due to matching pronunciation of French word "piscine" (pool, swimming pool) and English word "pissing", Piscine Molitor Patel, named that way after later abandoned Parisian swimming pool, so predictably suffers from being nicknamed "Pissing Patel". In order to avoid it, once in high school he finally shortens his name to Pi Patel... Nowadays middle-aged Pi tells the story of his life to a visiting writer, apparently a book author Yan Martel's alter ego, who is seeking for the literal inspiration. Retrospectively, Pi divides his childhood and adolescence into three segments. In the first segment he gives shorter account of his life until the age of 16, describing his interaction with his family and schoolmates, in particular his relationship with his father and a girlfriend, concentrating on his exploits of God and spirituality, meandering between multitude of religious practices… while in the last one he briefs about his testimonial given to officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport, investigating the reasons why the ship his family was relocating on from India to Canada sank. Most detailed, and therefore the longest, is recollection of his 227 days in a lifeboat, an extraordinary ordeal he went through after the ship has capsized and everybody else, crew and passengers, died…

…Well, everybody human, but not everybody living. Namely, a number of terrestrial animals from their discontinued family zoo, offered for sale and brought along with other family belongings, have survived, too. But, not for long, because, while confined in the most limited space as they were, surrounded by vastness of the ocean, the law of the "survival of the fittest" prevails, takes its tall, and pretty soon Pi finds himself in a company of a single one topping the food-chain, a Bengal tiger curiously named Richard Parker.

Not to reveal the story further, it is with greatest pleasure to inform that cinematic excellence has been achieved in several categories: in an engaging tale—whether allegory or depiction of realistic, believable events, filled with protagonist's rarely matched curiosity, imagination and his often reasonably unanswered doubts, encouraging the same in viewers—of an uncommon character, indeed, brought to on-screen life by outstanding performances from two contributing leads, remarkably presented via ubiquitous, yet inconspicuous animation, exceptional, CGI aided visuals and superb usage of 3D photography, all along complemented with an uplifting score. All these assets work seamlessly together in unfolding an intense relationship between Pi and Richard Parker, complex yet basic, difficult yet simple, initially charged with Pi's dreadful fear, swiftly shifting to respectful care, instantly boosting his never overbearing confidence and relentlessly improving his survival skills. Wholesome artistic experience reaches and maintains its pinnacle particularly in clever tactics and constructive survival techniques 16-year old Pi uses—amply benefiting from his instructive lifestyle of a zoo owner's attentive son, certainly well acquainted with animal psychology—to suppress the fear and convincingly impose himself as an equal to the one of the most elaborate "killing machines" among mammals, desperately striving for his own survival, nevertheless, generously, for survival of his seemingly sufficiently tamed companion, but still, initially and ultimately, magnificent adversary, Richard Parker, as well.

"Life of Pi" is, certainly, one of the most impressive movies of 2012, year that has just come to a close.

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188 out of 264 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Jaw-Dropping

9/10
Author: Zachary_Butler from United States
21 November 2012

Just finished watching the Midnight Premiere. Did not disappoint one bit. The Acting is incredibly believable, and the ending ties it all together. The story sorta drags in the beginning, but Ang Lee did a good job keeping my attention to the film. The Animation is incredibly realistic. I couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what wasn't. Not one moment did I doze off. Definitely worth 127 minutes of your life. Ang Lee, you did an outstanding job. To the Cast, you all did excellent. I am very satisfied! Although there were a lot of pros, there were some cons. At one point the Format of the Film switched from 16:9 to 4:3, but that might have been the projector at the Cinemark I attended. I also noticed some of the animations of animals started to go off screen and you could see the animated objects in the black area of the Wide Screen part (I'm assuming that was for the 3D, but I watched it in 2D so it looked sketchy). But it's minor. An average viewer won't even notice it, I'm an aspiring filmmaker, and I notice the little things!! I enjoyed the film, and you will too. 9/10. Worth it.

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165 out of 230 people found the following review useful:

A visually opulent triumph of film-making!

9/10
Author: cnitinb
22 November 2012

Ang lee's life of pi is an adaptation of a 'Man booker prize winner' novel by the same name, written by Yann Martel. It's a story set in the late seventies of an Indian teenager (Pi Patel) who is stranded on a life boat in the pacific. What distinguishes this tale of survival from the rest is that the author dishes out a delicious slice of creativity in giving the castaway, a tiger for a companion. Yes, like the posters and trailers have you believe, there is a boat on which a man and a tiger have to live! This makes 'life of pi' not only a story of human struggle against nature but also a profound tale that questions 'what separates man from beast?'. More interestingly, 'when does man become a beast'?

But worry not, Ang Lee's movie does not force you think on these lines , instead it's a film that lets you enjoy it on so many levels. If you are just looking for a beautiful 3D movie to feast your eyes , Life of pi can be it. If you are in a mood for a thrilling adventure epic on weekend, this is the right ticket. If indeed, you want to experience something thoughtful, Life of pi never forces you on a particular thought, instead it whispers ever so slightly to think about matters of human disposition and finding comfort in convention while caressing your senses with fabulous visuals and background score.

Suraj Sharma debuts as pi with utter sincerity while Irfan Khan(as adult pi) and Tabu(as mother) do justice to their parts. The rest of the supporting cast blend in perfectly too. Ang lee helms the film with difficult source material with absolute grace and expertise. However there are two true heroes that make Life of Pi work. Firstly the studio and creative director behind the magnificent CGI. The Bengal tiger is perhaps the best animated animal ever created! The angry green eyes, richly textured orange –white striped skin and every hair on its fur look rich and full of life in 3D.And then when your hear the thunderous roar for the first time, you will realize this is as real as it can get! The rest of the animals (a Zebra, an orangutan) look great too. The lovely blue ocean and its resident creatures are the jewel in the crown. The other hero is the writer David Magee(screenplay) who adapts the novel with near perfection. One gripe the fans of the novel might have is the lack of all the gore descriptions and a particular chapter that deals with the surviving 'French cook'. The addition of these might have pleased the audience who sought for the philosophical undertones from the story but the film would have lost out on the large PG-13 crowd (a fair deal considering the enormous budget).

Life of Pi, is a rare masterpiece that stands as a prototype not only for a perfect book adaptation and a 3D movie( sorry avatar, you have just been replaced), but also for a movie based on intricacies of human nature . Now that is simply an impressive triumph of film-making!

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145 out of 210 people found the following review useful:

Life Of Pi = Best (Art + Story Telling + VFX)

9/10
Author: mithil293 from india
22 November 2012

According to mythology the journey of life is splayed with different forms of hurdles, the path to salvation lies in standing tall against such hurdles even if the Gods are callous to your understanding. By maintaining hope we try to live up to their expectation, knowing that God will guide us if we keep fighting on our endeavor for greater good. That's pretty much the whole and soul of the movie. Opened first time in India at IFFI 2012 Goa, I was in the mix of lucky few who got to watch the repeat show of this 3D movie adapted from Yann Martel's book of same title.

Piscine Molitor(Pi) Patel as he was named after a swimming pool by his dear uncle apparent by his ardent love for the same. Piscine is born Hindu in Pondicherry India, but as he levels a understanding he begins to peek into other religion and sooner he starts endorsing Christianity and Islam also. His father, a zoo owner pounces upon a chance of relocating the zoo to Canada. On their way to far west with animals on a Japanese ship, tragedy struck on a murderous stormy night capsizing the ship with Pi and a Royal Bengal Tiger left to see the remains. And so the adventures journey of innocent young boy with life threatening feline animal begins.

There was the thunderous applause from the audiences when the tiger gives his first appearance in the safety boat. Spending months to produce the Tiger didn't go waste too, he looked inch perfect and the way he has been handled in the movie is exquisite. The first few scenes are reminiscent of old India with bullock carts, later the landscape changes and so do the people. The characters of hot blooded modern day father, the supporting mother and the story involving the tender love between the protagonist and the girl are delightful however short they may be. The innocence of young Pi through his school years and his introduction to motley of faiths sets up the foundation to his uncanny characterization. But the real fun starts when they are both lost at sea and Pi tries assortment of ideas to keep him as well as the Tiger alive. The movie is never complete without the mention of adequately yet delicately used VFX. It would really be a shame to put into words those magnificently shot sequences and the scale on which the art work is done. This movie epitomizes the correct com-mixture of story with special effects. I could gather so many 'wows' while I was myself devouring on the same scenes. The humor is well prevalent and does lighten up the few still scenes between the two.

Suraj Sharma plays the most significant role in the movie with all his efforts and he wins it in the end. The guy is awesome handling some tough intense scenes in the movie. Irfan Khan playing the narrator as well as the older Pi shows his maturity in the business, patient with the small parts he never misses his character and his narration and dialog's delivery is to die for. Adil Hussain as Pi's father is superb with his character and does contribute a hell lot. Other actors contribute evenly including the computer generated zoo animals. Real salute to the art directors of the movie for putting up such beautiful pictures on screen. Ang Lee is as always incomparable with his cinema, he has definitely reached shore with this movie and a more versatile director in my book.

The older promises the character he is narrating that he will prove him that God exists, well did he or not? For that you have to wait for that amazing climax scene. This is art, storytelling and VFX at his best in a single movie. Who would want to miss that??

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170 out of 297 people found the following review useful:

An empty candy wrapper

1/10
Author: Scott Baldwin (Meven_Stoffat) from Canada
1 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's be honest here: Life of Pi is a pretty looking movie with a rather dismal plot, and a pretentious religious subtext thrown in there for good measure.

Life of Pi might not be a bad movie. Realistically it would get maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10, but seeing as there's so many positive reviews here and all of them seem to be from either fanboys of the book, or people who haven't seen very many movies at all, I figured a 1 would be best to balance things out.

No doubt the film has some humorous moments that are indeed very funny, like the tiger peeing in Pi's face, Pi's "rules", and what not, and the film has tons of pretty visuals. A lot of the film takes place on a boat, and at times it looks like they used a real ocean to film it on. Not to mention the jellyfish scene was pretty, it was almost like James Cameron's Avatar.

But... the plot is just so vapid and pretentious, it defies description. Basically, the film throws around a lot of religious references, and it takes up a good portion of the plot, but dear LORD most of the time, the religious references were as subtle as bricks in a drying machine. At times it's like the writers are smacking you across the face with a bible. And when he father asked Pi (as a child) early in the film "how many more religions are you going to convert to?" (or something like that), I should have taken that as an indication as how the rest of the movie would be.

Oh and the many random moments which included (but weren't limited to): the strange 2:35.1 Aspect ratio change where suddenly a bunch of fish start flying out of the water into the boat (including WINGED fish that seemed like a Michael Bay wet dream), a carnivorous island full of meerkats (though to be fair, the meerkats scene was like a cuteness overdose), and humpback whale bit. Yeah.

There were parts of the film I enjoyed, but it honestly was just not a very good movie. It was like eating a platter full of candy and sugary sweets. Lots to indulge in and munch down on, but you've devoured nothing of substance by the end, and you're left with a stomach ache. And throwing a religious subtext in it doesn't mean the film is good or anything... It's just pretentious.

So yeah, like I said. Realistically my rating would be a 4 or 5 out of 10, but the 8.4 rating and amounts of 10/10 reviews here is just ridiculous.

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