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 Film Review: Life of Pi

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Sue77
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PostSubject: Film Review: Life of Pi   Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:02 pm

Life of Pi begins with the central character being asked to tell his tale to a writer looking for a story to base a second book on. As Pi begins to speak, the gentle, present day storytelling is interspersed with what amounts to visual memories of events and conversation, much of which is humorous. Pi is an intradiegetic narrator, guiding us verbally through the events that take place on the screen before us. These multifarious techniques merge beautifully and the viewer is first drawn into Pi's story, then swept along as the tale develops into the main core of the narrative - Pi's survival at sea with a Bengal Tiger. Before this point is reached, it has been established just how dangerous the tiger is, using the vehicle of a Fatherly lesson. Plus, we are told, animals have no soul. This has a bearing on Pi's emerging story as there is a focus on how he finds God in all manner of places and religions.

Although it has moments of tension and high octane action, the majority of the film takes place at a leisurely pace. This is not to say the film becomes slow and your attention span starts to wander, but for me some of the sections of wonderment could have been trimmed as they were overly reliant on CGI. One other factor, which I found frustrating, was how Pi's words were lost when he was shouting against a backdrop of storms and sea surges.

However, Life of Pi is an interesting film from a number of perspectives. The fantastical tale woven by Pi of his life on the ocean in the company of a Bengal Tiger works simply as just that - a fantastical tale. Much of the cinematography and CGI functions to underpin this, giving the fantasy an immediacy and stunning visual elements which remain with the viewer long after leaving the cinema. It is also a tale of faith and belief, the notion of being a vessel that is swept along by the will of God, with acceptance of the outcome. Then it is a tale of surmounting trials and tribulations, of survival in extreme circumstances. A frequently used shot-reverse-shot technique between Pi's eyes and that of the tiger, assists with depicting how understanding develops between man and beast.

But the best part of the film is undeniably the reverse dénouement which occurs towards the end. This made the film for me. Those that have read the book will know exactly what I'm talking about. Because of this, if you want to enjoy the film, it might be an idea to read the book afterwards.


Last edited by Sue77 on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Film Review: Life of Pi   Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:07 pm

That's one of my favourite books! I just don't want to have to watch it in 3D and I don't know if any of local cinemas are showing it without 3D

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Sue77
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PostSubject: Re: Film Review: Life of Pi   Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:38 pm

Our local cinema showed it in both 2 and 3D. I caught it on the last day and had to see it in 3D despite not being a 3D fan. It's fine in 3D apart from I got motion sickness on the sea!

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