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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning cinematic experience, and thought provoking
The Life of Pi was well worth the wait. I've watched it twice now, and is one of those films you will never tire of. Ang Lee has brought us many great films, but this must be one of his best works ever. It is not only visually stunning, but also will leave you wondering. Was it all an allegory?
Published 21 months ago by Mazza

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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pensive
Outstanding cinematography and genuinely ground-breaking CGI place this film in a category of its own. It's extraordinarily slow to start with, and the development of the plot is languid, to say the least. It starts by examining the early years of Pi, and it's here we learn how he acquires his name. This is narrated in flashback by his adult self and is carefully paced,...
Published 23 months ago by DS9


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning cinematic experience, and thought provoking, 17 July 2013
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The Life of Pi was well worth the wait. I've watched it twice now, and is one of those films you will never tire of. Ang Lee has brought us many great films, but this must be one of his best works ever. It is not only visually stunning, but also will leave you wondering. Was it all an allegory?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent., 5 May 2013
By 
Mr. G. Robinson "garyrobinson15" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
Towards the beginning of Ang Lee's adaptation of Yan Martell Life of Pi, Pi of the title, is talking to a Writer and interestingly says something like "I will tell you my story, how much you believe is true is up to you". This is your first clue as to the book and films intention. If you believe in something that doesn't mean it's true, and if something is true you may choose not to believe in it. Truth and belief are at best strange bedfellows and at worst mortal enemies.

We are then presented with the film in a series of flashback as Pi tells the story and the writer listens. This truly fantastical tale of shipwrecks and a man eating Tiger is told with stylised and genuinely stunning imagery, literally dripping with an over saturated vivid colour palette. This is the second clue. Are we watching a dream or someone's version of another truth? The question in my head is this, whose version of this tale are we seeing, the listener or the teller. Is the teller remembering the real truth or what he believes is the truth? Is the listener embellishing for his own ends? Are truth and belief being mixed up or is that how it always is?

Life of Pi is just stunning, even the simple opening credit sequence is a joy and full of sly humour. The flashback dissolves are inventive and connect the now with the then beautifully. The Computer Generated Imagery is almost too good; it really is very difficult to work out what is real and what is not. Apparently only a very few shots of Richard Parker (the Tiger) are real, the rest is CGI. The script is beautifully written and the screenplay is well balanced. The acting is first class without exception and the direction is never less than interesting.

Life of Pi is not for everyone, taken at face value, and lots of people and reviewers have done just that, you will think it's a daft tale about a boy and a Tiger. If you can see past the obvious, read between the lines and see it as a tale about the human condition, you will enjoy a wonderful film that explores the murky world of belief and its relationship, if it has one, to the truth.

Out of 67 reviews on this site 50 have given the film 4 or 5 stars. With huge grosses worldwide and excellent reviews in the press and winning 4 Oscars, Life of Pi is assured a place in the top five films of the year.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, 29 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Life of Pi (Blu-ray + UV Copy) (Blu-ray)
A magical piece of storytelling with wonderful scenery and camera work that deserves being seen on Blu-ray. You know that there must have been some technological manufacturing of the tiger and other creatures at times, but it was so ingeniously done that you are allowed to just believe it was real and you really feel you are in the boat with Pi. We watched it as a family (10 to 65 years) and it was enjoyed by all, on different levels. The last 15 minutes contained a clever twist that turned a story into something more haunting and mysterious and left us discussing it at length, with each of us drawing different conclusions. Though we only saw it 3 weeks ago we are going to watch it again tonight.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Story With Animals Is The Better story", 7 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen the movie first in 3D, I was completely blown away by pretty much every aspect; the story itself, the format it was portrayed on screen, the effects and most of all, the fact that it is unlike any other film out at the moment. I started the book a week or so after and liked how certain things were changed for the movie (the romance) but how they managed to still maintain the raw overall story from the book and how not everything was lost on it's way from the book to the screen. Most people would say when it comes to any movie that you should read the book first. However for me with this particular story I'm glad I saw the movie first because having knowing what the ending was I was able to analyze in detail as I was reading by using the ending as a reference point, otherwise I probably would have had to read it all again to get a clearer understanding.
I would highly recommend this book and DVD to anyone who is looking for something groundbreakingly different.

And by the way, after I finished the book I went to see it again in the cinema ;D
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ang Lee's unusual Oscar winner demonstrates how to film the `un-filmable', 16 May 2013
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Life of Pi (Blu-ray + UV Copy) (Blu-ray)
Ang Lee has a fine record for making unusual films, and from `Eat Drink Man Woman' through `Hulk' to `Brokeback Mountain' has proven to be the antithesis of a formulaic director. True to form, his film of Yann Martel's "un-filmable" book `Life of Pi' is a triumph of cinematography and storytelling. The underlying themes of God-evidenced-in-Nature and the victory of the human spirit in adversity are very well realised by Lee's narrative structure and editing, and the film is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

The story is told in first-person narrative with Pi as narrator, his character played by four different actors as he ages. The excellent young Suraj Sharma takes the lion's share (tiger's share?) as the 16-year old Pi in the film's main sequence when adrift on the Pacific with Bengal tiger Richard Parker following a shipwreck. Sharma (picked from 3,000 actors who auditioned for the part) delivers a convincing performance of fear, struggle, cool intelligence & courage, and gradually masters his hostile environment and terrible predicament, growing spiritually on the journey as he asserts dominance over the tiger so that they might both survive. Although for safety reasons the tiger and Sharma were filmed separately, you will absolutely believe in the terrifying visceral power of their face-to-face confrontations and in their developing relationship.

The wildlife in the film looks superb and the wild animals behave exactly like wild animals, red in tooth and claw. There's no sentimentality here, and the viewer is never spared the cruelties of nature. For this reason the film may be disturbing to young children despite its often enchanting visual content.

The Blu-ray 3D release contains a documentary film (itself in 3D) about the making of the film in which Lee explains how he conceived the film from the beginning as a 3D experience for the audience, and that this is the medium in which it needs to be seen. There's a lot of detail here for film buffs.

Some have chosen to nit-pick at details of the film and a few have disliked it; it may be that for those viewers this is just not the kind of story that floats their boat, so to speak. `Life of Pi' strives to explore deeper territory than the average Hollywood fare, in a highly original way. Lee succeeds in discussing the philosophy of religion; is there a creator and where can we experience evidence of it in nature? This is quite a difficult trick to pull off in a 127-minute film whilst entertaining the audience at the same time, but Lee's rare talent does just about manage it - and with a sting in the tail, too: at the end of the day, which story do you prefer?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Spiritual Film, Visually Magical, 22 July 2013
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This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
I believe that anyone who has a sense of spirituality will enjoy this film, I loved the visuals such as the glowing water and the struggle between Pi and Richard Parker. I give this a place in my top 50 favourite films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ANIMALS HAVE SOULS. I HAVE SEEN IT IN THEIR EYES, 17 May 2013
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
The film opens with a lengthy character build-up of Pi. It starts off with the crude explanation on how he got his name. It contrasts this with Pi's discovery of religion to the point of believing in universalism. His lofty ideas are quickly contrasted with a dose of reality when a tiger, he thinks he has connected with, eats a live goat. After he develops a love interest we finally come to the meat of the tale.

His family opts to go to Canada on a Japanese merchant ship and if everything went okay, you wouldn't see a picture of Pi in a boat with said tiger promoting this film. His life's experience are reflected in his relationship with the tiger and survival at sea.

Pi's life is one filled with contrasts. He is a microcosm of India and perhaps the world as his name is symbolic of the constant the defines circles, orbs, and globes. That is the spiritual aspect. However his name derives from the "P" word giving it a dose of crude reality. The film/book is designed to be a metaphor. This is demonstrated in the end when Pi gives us two stories, then asks, "Which do you prefer?" as a way to test one's views in a world of contrasts.

While the film is interesting on a number of levels, it is heavily narrated with an accent. This caused me to occasionally miss a word every now and then. Hopefully the DVD will have English subtitles.

Parental Guide: No sex or nudity. While rated PG I thought Pi dropped the F-bomb near the end when he was talking about the two Japanese investigators. It was tough to tell with the accent. Beginning of film frequently refers to pi**ing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D Version, 9 Feb. 2013
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I'm not one to use soppy words like 'beautiful' very often, but I can think of no other way to describe the film I have just seen.

For those looking for something inspirational, philosophical or spiritual, I'm sure you'll find something here. I was looking for good entertainment while I munch popcorn, and the film provides plenty of that too. There are plenty of reviews about this film already, so I'll just post a few comments on the version for 3D televisions.

It's absolutely stunning.

Right from the opening sequence in the zoo, the 3D is spellbinding. A hummingbird buzzes around a bewildered sloth, a monitor lizard peers out of the screen before scampering along the road. There's a flock of pink flamingos, a giraffe, monkeys, and much more, all exquisitely filmed, pin-sharp and in perfect 3D. I think this is the only time I've ever rewound a film to watch the opening credits before proceeding to watch the film. It really is done that well. The quality is maintained throughout the rest of the film, with the 3D being used to provide depth rather than having things jump out of the screen at you (with a couple of minor exceptions). The storm and the shipwreck are jaw-droppingly effective. In fact the whole film is, with the 3D drawing the viewer into the film time and time again. Technically, I think the 3D is near perfect - I could see no ghosting or crosstalk whatsoever during the film, with only minor crosstalk during the closing credits (white line drawings moving across a black background did produce some minor crosstalk). My system is nothing special, a Samsung PS51E550 telly and a Playstation 3.

I only bought this film on a whim, I didn't really know what to expect. Having seen it, I cannot praise this film enough.

(Edit: this review is dated the 9th February for some strange reason. I'm writing it on 30th April)
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104 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Masterpiece, 14 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
Life of Pi begins with Pi, now a middle aged man meeting with a novelist in his home in Canada. The novelist had been writing in India when he scrapped his work, deciding to start over. By meeting Pi's `uncle', he hears about an amazing story which he instantly thinks could work as a novel. Pi begins to tell the novelist about his life in India and how he came to live in Canada. The beginning of the film sets the scene perfectly by showing how Pi grew up, where he got his name from and also how he and his family lived.

As the story continues, Pi grows up a bit, finds religion and love and his life is extremely interesting. He definitely doesn't have the normal life of any other boy in India. I really enjoyed the actors who play Pi throughout the film but especially Suraj Sharma who plays the role for the most part of the film. At age 16, Pi and his family want to move to Canada and this is where the film gets interesting. Their ship hits a massive storm and Pi finds himself all alone in the sea - apart from a zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger. The young man playing this role really throws himself into it and is able to really show emotion well. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, not knowing how he is going to survive, fear was his first feeling. Along the way, sadness, hope, loss of hope and anticipation also kick in.

Pi encounters all kinds of problems while at sea, mostly with Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger who is determined to make the boat his own home. Obviously, he does eventually make it back to land otherwise he wouldn't be telling his story to someone else, so while a large amount of the film is set at sea, not all of it is. The changes in setting were great and really broke up the monotony of seeing the same thing for such a long length of time. The whole story is beautifully told and made me feel a whole range of things while watching it.

In 3D, this film is a visual masterpiece. I'm not normally the biggest fan of 3D but with this film, I think you would miss out on a whole lot if you didn't see it this way. With the bright and beautiful colours of India mixed with the exotic animals in the zoo and Pi's life when he is at sea, there is so much to look at, at all times during this film. You can experience tiny birds flying out into the cinema, feeling like they are flapping their wings right in front of your face. The 3D effects on this film were so fantastic that I even jumped a few times because things ended up looking as though they were straight in front of my face. I don't think I have ever, or will see again for a long time, a film as visually stunning as this one.

Although not a complex story, or a film with a massive cast, Life of Pi is one of the best films I have seen this year. It is a film that will make you feel things you won't expect, react at things you would never think of reacting to and it is also just a wonderful story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D at its best, 14 July 2013
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Unbelievable 3D film that has to be seen. The storyline is quite unbelievable but the quality of the lead child actor's work is worth seeing without the excellent effects created by Ang Lee.
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Life of Pi (Blu-ray + UV Copy)
Life of Pi (Blu-ray + UV Copy) by Ang Lee (Blu-ray - 2013)
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