“Life of Pi” is as visually appealing as the film’s emotional plot.
Based on the book by Yann Martel, “Life of Pi” begins with a man named Pi (Irrfan Khan) in India who has an incredibly far-fetched story to tell. His family makes the decision to sell their zoo and move to Canada. They pack all the animals on a cargo ship, but the ship sinks, and Pi is left as the only human survivor. Pi’s only companions are a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, an orangutan who goes by Orange Juice, a hyena and a zebra. Pi is left alone with Richard Parker as the other animals die one by one, and he must learn how to survive on the open sea with an adult Bengal tiger as his only companion.
Pi and Richard Parker must endure the sea’s many hardships together and depend on each other for survival.
“Life of Pi” is worth the price of a ticket for the visual presentation alone. The use of color, camera angles and special effects are all handsomely done. Richard Parker’s character looks incredibly believable in the action scenes, and special attention is given to detail for the landscape and storms Pi and Richard Parker brave in their 200 days at sea. The shipwreck scene is impressive, and a particularly magnificent scene involving a monstrous whale is breathtakingly beautiful.
Despite the visuals being a major part of the film’s appeal, “Life of Pi” does not skimp when it comes to acting. Suraj Sharma plays the young Pi in his first film, and his performance could guarantee his appearance in more films to come. Khan, however brief his appearance in the film may be, delivers a solid performance as well.
The story the film tells is right up to par with the visual experience it offers, and the two work together beautifully. There are no major plot holes, and the film flows from scene to scene with near perfection.
“Life of Pi” incorporates messages of spirituality and religious diversity throughout the film. Pi explores numerous religions throughout the movie, and the point to the story he tells is that whoever hears it will believe in God. The spiritual elements are not so overbearing as to take the movie over, but they work as more of a direction and purpose for the film.
“Life of Pi” is potentially a visual masterpiece with a plot that is just as rewarding.
“Life of Pi” is rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action sequences and peril.