There was something in the previews of Life of Pi that kept me from rushing to see it. To be honest, it looked a bit too fantastical for my tastes. I saw it last night and now lament every single day of having not experienced this wondrous story.
The film is about Pi Patel—now older—telling the story of an amazing journey to a would-be book author looking for a great narrative to launch his career. The story Pi tells is absolutely, entirely, fantastical in nearly every detail. It’s a sumptuous two hours that will win over just about everyone by the end of the first third of the film.
Once the main thrust of the story began I was hooked. The story could have taken me anywhere and I’d have willingly followed. Everywhere it did take me I lapped up like a parched dog after a long run.
To mention much of anything about the plot would be simply criminal. Suffice to say that it’s a journey I highly recommend taking.
The cast of mainly Indian actors is superb. The visuals are, quite simply, a work of art. I even saw it in 3D without really wanting to and was shocked to find it worked beautifully here—perhaps better than in any other 3D film to date. The CGI effects are staggeringly convincing if, at times, not for the reasons you may think. The special effects are often haunting in touching ways. Ang Lee, the director, is a shoe-in for an Oscar nod and likely the trophy itself.
I fell in love with nearly every single character along the way and was crushed when it came time for any one of them to be left behind by the story arc.
This is a film that reaches into your deepest recesses and pulls out the rawest of child-like emotions holding them, oh so carefully, in soft hands, forcing you to trust in it, before tenderly returning them—and you—back to reality.
When the film ended, no one moved. You could hear many choking back their tears (me included) and once everyone regained their footing much discussion of what just took place began. What did it mean? That’s its magic. This is a deep film with an approach that feels entirely new and it’s one I hope to experience again as soon as possible. Perhaps the best thing I can say about it is that I have to admit that I feel those same emotions coming to the surface as I write these simple words of praise.