Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee, 2012, U.S.
By D.G. McCabe
A young writer is sent to French Canada to interview a man who has a story for him. He has been told that this story will make him believe in God. Religion is central to the story of Life of Pi, as anyone who has read the book can attest. Religion, at least, in the form of the belief in things unseen.
We eventually learn that Pi’s story involves a shipwreck and a voyage across the Pacific Ocean with no company except for Richard Parker, a full grown Bengal tiger. The story is fantastic. Or it is something else entirely, as we learn in the film’s thought provoking, closing moments.
The film is beautiful and filled with amazing shots. A humpback whale launches itself through a school of jellyfish and out of the sea. A sea of meercats moves about a tropical island in unison. Hundreds of flying fish menace a small lifeboat. Through all of this, a boy and his unlikely companion fight for survival.
Ang Lee won his second Oscar for Best Director for this film. Time will tell if we can someday call it an influential or important film, but it is immensely entertaining and exceedingly beautiful.
You might like Life of Pi if: You appreciate film as art.
You might not like Life of Pi if: You didn’t like the book or you have an irrational fear of shipwrecks.
(c) 2013 D.G. McCabe