I’ve been dying to write this review for several days, but I’ve been busy with my new job and, thanks to the stupid cable company and my apartment complex, haven’t had internet at home. Hopefully I’ll be setting it up today, but in case it doesn’t work (again), I want to bang out this blog first.
Now for the important stuff: I saw Life of Pi in the theater this past weekend and was completely amazed. I must confess that I’ve never read the book. With so many books on my reading list, things just get overlooked and put off. Sadly, Life of Pi is one of them. However, now that I know and have been completely moved by the story, I may have to bump it to the top of the TBR list.
Visually, it is a film that knocks you off your feet. I was completely blown away by just how beautiful it was. From his life in India to his strange journey on the boat with Richard Parker to his somewhat bizarre experience toward the end of his odyssey, I was astounded. It’s colorful and bright and terrifying at times. The effects are beautifully rendered and extremely convincing, though you can still tell the difference between the real and the animated. It does a fantastic job at depicting just how mystical is his experience. There’s one particularly trippy part somewhere in the middle, but it’s necessary to the storyline and it was fascinating to watch.
Perhaps what affected me most was just how moving it was. Having never read the story and only knowing that it’s about a boy who gets stuck in a boat with a tiger, I was surprised at how incredibly tragic it was. Please do not let this turn you off to the film, however. The tragedy comes at the beginning and is what triggers his incredible experience. It is because of the tragedy that he becomes so much more than he was in the beginning, though even then he is a boy with a rare personality of inquisitiveness and tolerance. It is a classic mythological storyline of a boy venturing into nature for his coming-of-age, though in this story the boy is actually thrust into nature by circumstance. As the plot moves along and he continues to survive alongside his tiger companion, one cannot help but be overcome. Two creatures that are natural enemies coming to rely on each other for survival is a surprisingly moving plot, even if the setting varies little. So moving and worthy of contemplation did I find it that, when I had walked to my car after and started the engine, I burst into tears. Strange, maybe, but it affected me in a way that a movie hasn’t done in a very, very long time.
I have to recommend this movie to everyone. If you’ve read the book, please see it anyway, despite your fears. I think if you view it as a separate entity from the novel entirely, you will greatly enjoy it. It is a beautiful, enthralling, and emotional work of cinema, and it’s worth seeing.