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31 of 31 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 23 months ago by Mazza

36 of 43 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 on 1 May 2013 by DS9

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31 of 31 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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent., 5 May 2013
Mr. G. Robinson "garyrobinson15" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, 29 Jun. 2013
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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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6 of 6 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
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
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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96 of 104 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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2 of 2 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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE OF PI [2012] [3D Collector’s Edition] [Blu-ray + DVD Digital Copy] [US Import], 14 April 2015
LIFE OF PI [2012] [3D Collector’s Edition] [Blu-ray + DVD Digital Copy] [US Import] The Next AVATAR! A Visual Miracle! A Stunning Masterpiece!

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this visual masterpiece from Oscar Award® winner Ang Lee* and based on the best-selling novel “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with the only other survivor a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey that must be seen to be believed. *Director of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ [2005]

FILM FACT: ‘Life of Pi’ emerged as a critical and commercial success, earning over US$609 million worldwide. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards which included the Best Picture for Drama and the Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. At the 85th Academy Awards it had eleven nominations, including Best Picture, and won four, including Best Director for Ang Lee.

Cast: Gautam Belur, Ayush Tandon, Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Ayan Khan, Mohamed Abbas, Vibish Sivakumar, Gérard Depardieu, Po-Chieh Wang, Shravanthi Sainath, Andrea Di Stefano and Elie Alouf

Director: Ang Lee

Producers: Ang Lee, David Womark and Gil Netter

Screenplay: David Magee

Composer: Mychael Danna

Cinematography: Claudio Miranda

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 3

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Andrew’s 3D Blu-ray Review: Director Ang Lee brings Yann Martel's “unfilmable” Booker Prize-winning novel “Life of Pi” to the screen with dazzling effect. Suraj Sharma stars as “Pi” Patel, a 16 year-old zookeeper's son from Pondicherry, who finds himself stranded on a small boat in the Pacific Ocean in the company of a Bengal tiger following the shipwreck of the freighter on which he and his family were sailing for Canada. Over the course of several months Pi manages to survive on the meagre supplies of food and water he finds on the boat, and also takes up fishing, while in his half-delirious state he muses on various aspects of animal behaviour, religion and the meaning of life.

The Taiwan-born Ang Lee rapidly established himself in the 1990s as one of the world's most versatile film-makers, moving on from the trilogy of movies about Chinese families that made his name to Jane Austen's England (Sense and Sensibility) and Richard Nixon's America (The Ice Storm). He adopts different styles to fit his new subjects, and while there are certain recurrent themes, among them the disruption of families and young people facing moral and physical challenges, there are no obsessive concerns of the sort once considered a necessity for auteurs. He has a fastidious eye for a great image but he also has a concern for language.

His stunning magnificent 3D film is adapted from the Yann Martel's Booker prize-winning novel “Life of Pi” which was finally adapted for screenplay by the American writer David Magee, whose previous credits were films set in England during the first half of the 20th century, ‘Finding Neverland’ and ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.’ From its opening scene of animals and birds strutting and preening themselves in a sunlit zoo to the final credits of fish and nautical objects shimmering beneath the sea, the movie has a sense of the mysterious, the magical. This effect is compounded by the hallucinatory 3D, which is awesome, compared to when I went to the cinema to see it in 3D and I was not very impressed, where this 3D Blu-ray is out of this world and is so lifelike seeing via the 3D Blu-ray.

The form of the film is a story within a story within a story. An unnamed Canadian author whom we assume to be Yann Martel himself [Rafe Spall] who I thought had a most aggravating Canadian accent and why couldn’t they have got a Canadian actor to do this part? Anyway we find Rafe Spall with the adult “Pi” Patel [Irrfan Khan] in his Montreal home, who has a story that will make you believe in God. Piscine Molitor Patel (Irrfan Khan), a philosophy teacher and he tells the curious story of his own extraordinary life, beginning as the son of a zookeeper in Pondicherry, the French enclave in India that wasn't ceded until 1954.

The film's two central characters both obtained their names by comic accident. The deeply serious Piscine (played by Gautam Belur at five, Ayush Tandon at 12 and Suraj Sharma at 16) was named after an uncle's favourite swimming pool, the Piscine Molitor in Paris, but changed his name to the Greek letter and numinous number Pi after fellow schoolboys made jokes about constantly going to the toilet. He later became fascinated by a Bengal tiger in the zoo caught by the English hunter Richard Parker who called him Thirsty. On delivery to the zoo their names were accidently reversed and the tiger became Richard Parker. Was this fate or chance?

Growing up, the ever curious “Pi” Patel becomes attracted to religion and the meaning of life, a spiritual journey that the film treats with a respectful wit as the boy rejects his father's rationalism and creates a personal amalgam of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. His faith is tested as an adolescent when his father is forced to give up the family zoo, where “Pi” Patel realises he's been as much a captive as the animals themselves. A Japanese freighter becomes a temporary ark on which the Patel family take the animals to be sold in Canada. But it's struck by a storm as dramatic as anything ever put on the screen, and “Pi” Patel becomes a combination of Noah, Crusoe, Prospero and Job. Alone above the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Pacific, he's an orphan captaining a lifeboat with only a zebra, a hyena, a female orang-utan and the gigantic Bengal tiger Richard Parker for company.

This is a grand adventure on a totally epic scale, a survival story that takes up half the movie. It's no Peaceable Kingdom like Edward Hicks's charming early 19th-century painting, where the lion sleeps with the lamb. This is a Darwinian place that “Pi” Patel must learn to command. Using state-of-the-art 3D and digitally created beasts, Ang Lee and his team of technicians make it utterly real and totally perfect, as they do with the totally mysterious island that briefly provides a dangerously seductive haven.

The long arduous journey had “Pi” Patel 227 days at sea which tested his whole physique, mental adaptation and faith, and Suraj Sharma makes “Pi” Patel 's spiritual journey as convincing as his nautical one.

He confronts thirst and starvation, finds a modus vivendi with the fierce tiger, endures and wonders at a mighty storm, a squadron of flying fish, a humpbacked whale, a school of dolphins, a night illuminated by luminous jellyfish. This brave new world is observed by a young Chilean director of photography, appropriately named Claudio Miranda. The spectacular film does for water and the sea what ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ did for sand and desert, and one thinks of what Alfred Hitchock, who used 3D so imaginatively in his 1954 film of ‘Dial M For Murder,’ might have done on his wartime ‘Lifeboat’ had he been given such technical facilities.

This poetic ‘Life of Pi’ concludes with a fascinating, deliberately prosaic coda that raises questions about the reality of what we've seen and confronts the teleological issues involved.

3D Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Life of P’ is completely transformed into a finer, more immersive experience through the use of 3D. The sense of infinite depth in the horizon at sea is particularly superb, and underwater scenes take on a special magnificence with their openness and majesty in 3D especially when seen from underneath as fish and other creatures swim in different planes under the boat. The sense of space on that medium-sized lifeboat gains tremendously with the extra dimension added, and the scenes on Meerkat Island are likewise transformed into an almost other-worldly experience stereoscopic images. As for the projections, they are wonderfully thought out from a hummingbird which flies before our eyes early on to sticks and poles which either protrude toward us or in point of view shots that seem to come from our own hands. In the flying fish scene, there’s a magnificent moment as the screen ratio widens when a fish hits something in the frame and then flops out in front of the letterbox frame seemingly at our feet. There is absolutely no crosstalk at all in fashioning this magnificent 3D achievement.

3D Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix is all one could hope for in this kind of special effects extravaganza. It’s tremendously expressive throughout with the wide, wide soundstage playing host to a variety of split surrounds and putting us right in the middle of a couple of hellacious sea storms that will give your audio equipment a major workout. Richard Parker’s growls are wonderfully directional as he moves around the boat, and Mychael Danna’s Oscar-winning score gets the full surround experience. Dialogue is always completely understandable and has been placed in the centre channel.

First 3D Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: With this particular 3D Blu-ray, you can view the extras in either 3D or 2D.

Deleted Scenes: Anandi’s Second Dance [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [1:44]; Time to Grow Up [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [2:08]; Happy Birthday [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [1.85:1/16:9] [2:48]; Did I Say Something Wrong [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [2:22] and Darkness [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [4:37]

VFX Progression: Tsimtsum Sinking [Shot Indicator] [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [12:40] I personally felt this particular extra went on far too long and was well over the top. Tsimtsum Sinking which show elements from two scenes in plate form (raw footage), with animation added, and the final product.

The Wave Tank [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [2:10] Here you get to see how the tank was built, and you get to see all the technical wizardry on how the CGI was produced for the finished film.

Theatrical Trailer [3D/2D] [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [2:12]

Second Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Feature Documentaries: A Filmmakers Epic Journey: Part 1: Life of Pi: A Filmmakers Epic Journey [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [15:05]; Part 2: Suraj Sharman: Audition Footage [2012] [480i/1080p] [4:3/16:9] [16:30]; Part 3: A Tigers Tale [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [17:43] and Part 4: Illusion of 3D [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [14:26] I cannot recommend these 4 brilliant documentaries enough, as they are so brilliantly photographed and gives you so much information on all who was involved in this awesome project of Life of Pi. It details the four year trek to the finished film concentrating on comments from director Ang Lee, film editor Tim Squyres, screenwriter David Magee, and others. The documentary (divided into four sections which can be pulled up separately) covers the preproduction work, the casting of “Pi” Patel and the training regimen for Suraj Sharma, the filming schedules in Taiwan and India, the working with real tigers and the CG work with computer-generated animals, continuity difficulties, solving the difficulties of using the specially constructed wave tank, the use of 3D for the film, and its triumphant premiere at the New York Film Festival.

A Remarkable Journey [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [19:37] This is a fascinating look at all aspects of the CGI effects and you learn so much of what was involved. These set pieces elaborate preparations for the special effects work done first in computer pre-visualisation and then adding layer upon layer to get to the finished product. Ang Lee, Tim Squyres, special effects supervisor Jean-Martin Desmarais, among others, provide primary commentary.

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright [2012] [1080p] [16:9] [19:35] Here is another fascinating insight into how they trained the Bengal tigers and their reaction towards "Pi" Patel [Suraj Sharma]. You also get to see the fascinating insight on how they were able to create the CGI tiger from the real Bengal tiger. It also discusses the extraordinary CG work that went into fashioning a photo-realistic tiger to play Richard Parker in the film, especially with lots of side-by-side comparisons between the real tiger used for reference in the lifeboat set with the computer-generated one that appears in the frame with actor Suraj Sharma.

Art Gallery: The following section is composed of a series of still images. You can either select AUTO ADVANCE to launch the slide show, where images change every five seconds. But if you select MANUAL ADVANCE, you can step through the images individually. Press TOP MENU on your remote control to go back to the Top Menu. The art you get to view are by Joanna Bush; Haan Lee; Dawn Masi and Alex Rockman. You get to view a total of 90 images and the best of the bunch is by Joanna Bush, which are totally stunning. [2012] [1080p] [7:28]

Storyboards: The following section is composed of a series of still images. You can either select AUTO ADVANCE to launch the slide show, where images change every five seconds. But if you select MANUAL ADVANCE, you can step through the images individually. Press TOP MENU on your remote control to go back to the Top Menu. There are 7 categories, which are as follows: Zoo Hospital; Ashram; Piscine Molitor; Floating festival; Cargo Hold; Underwater Fantasy and Mexican Beach. [2012] [1080p] [12:23]

The Blu-ray disc is “BD-Live” ready and contains one exclusive (and surprisingly important) feature not available on the disc: “The Importance of Storytelling” which details in 20:30 minutes the adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel to the screen by screenwriter David Magee

Finally, after scoring four Academy Awards ‘Life of Pi’ is attracting lots of attention on home video circuit, and it deserves it. While it may not be the life-changing experience that it wants to be, it is at least thought-provoking and sure to generate some post-viewing discussion, particularly if you watch it with others of differing worldviews. Besides that, it's simply gorgeous to behold and probably the best adaptation we could've asked for from a book previously considered as stated earlier that is was deemed "unfilmable." 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release does justice to the film's eye-candy visuals, particularly if you go for the stunning awesome 3D version. Ang Lee’s ‘Life of P’ was deservedly celebrated as one of THE 2012’s best film. The reference quality video images and the stunning audio experience, plus an amazing excellent array of bonus material, sure makes it a clear choice for you to purchase this 3 Disc Collector’s Edition. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical from start to finish, 27 Sept. 2013
Valerie J. (West Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
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The story goes: A Canadian writer (Rafe Spall) has been told that an Indian called Piscine 'Pi' Patel (adult Pi = Irrfan Khan), who lives in French Canada, has a wonderful story to tell. Piscine tells the writer how he came to have a name which has nothing to do with mathematics. He tells of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, how other children ridiculed Piscine's (age 5 Gautam Belur, age 11/12 Ayush Tandon) name, and how his father, a businessman, decided to create a zoo. However, in time the zoo can no longer be afforded and the animals are to be sold in Canada. The family and animals are travelling there on a cargo ship but it's shipwrecked when a storm brews up. The teenage Pi (Suraj Sharma) survives the disaster and is afloat in a lifeboat together with an assortment of animals including a feisty Bengal tiger called Richard Parker.

Of all the aesthetically pleasing movies I have seen Life of Pi (2012) has to be up there with the best. I watched this on a Blu-ray and from the opening moments I felt as if I were almost watching it in 3D. The colours are exquisite, the characters seem to stand out from the screen, and the attention to detail was amazing; for example, at the beginning during the opening credits, we see a monkey swinging in a tree and then a letter from one of the names onscreen drops and swings. It goes without saying that the CGIs and special effects were outstanding. Truly, although my Blu-ray collection is not yet extensive, Life of Pi makes the others seem to be far from High Definition.

I began watching Life of Pi (2012) with not the slightest idea of what the film would be about other than a youth and a tiger being adrift at sea. I have not, as yet, read the book by Yann Martel. Some reviewers have written spoilers for this movie, revealing the conclusion of the movie. No spoilers here. Watch and be surprised by adult Pi's revelations, as I was.

If you buy the Blu-ray (or DVD) be sure to watch the extras about how the movie, which took 4 years to make and cost approx. $120 million, was made. Fascinating stuff. A real tiger called King was involved in the making of this movie and the real tiger is cleverly used in the movie together with a computer generated tiger. It's not easy to tell which is which and the director, Ang Lee, was fooled when shown CGI images of the tiger before the film was finalised. In the extra footage, we see close up photographs of the face of King and the CGI (computer generated image) side by side and the latter is incredibly realistic. The CGI tiger was slightly larger and, to me, looked a bit more friendly! The extras are very informative about the making of the film, of finding the young actor, Suraj, who had never acted before. I strongly recommend watching the movie first though because once you discover how it was all made then the movie might lose some of its magic for you. This is an interesting webpage that you might find interesting about the making of the movie but, again, I wouldn't want to see it before I'd seen the movie:

Something that very much interested me was that Ang Lee and the Life of Pi movie team utilised the knowledge and experience of Steven Callahan, who was adrift at sea on a raft for 76 days after his sloop capsized, and bore hunger and heat while being attacked by sharks and being overlooked by passing ships. Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea, available at Amazon. Another thing that caught my attention and let me know Pi had arrived in the Caribbean was the flying fish. They are the national dish of Barbados. A wonderful moment, when the fish had 'flown' by with a predator swimming behind them, was that Pi was covered in fish scales.

While the movie is rated PG, I think some of the scenes are quite harrowing and really are not suitable for children, especially younger ones.

VJ - (website) Movies and Books World
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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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