Life of PiDirector: Ang Lee, Fox 2000 Pictures, Rated PG, 127 mins
Ang Lee, the academy award winning director of Brokeback Mountain, has truly excelled with his magnificent movie about an Indian boy who finds himself adrift in a lifeboat in a large ocean that he has to share with a terrifying Bengal tiger.
Based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel and adapted to the screen by Finding Neverland screenplay writer David Magee, the Life of Pi is told in flashback to a Canadian journalist (Rafe Spall) by an adult Pi (Irrfan Khan - Slumdog Millionaire) who recounts his teenage years as the young Pi (perfectly played by newcomer Suraj Sharma) whose Indian father, a zoo owner, decides to relocate his family and animals from India to Canada.
Unfortunately a shocking storm sinks their ship, drowning his family and leaving Pi alone in a lifeboat together with an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra and a fearsome Bengal tiger called Richard Parker.
With food becoming an even greater scarcity after the tiger has disposed of the other animals, Pi soon finds himself completely on his own but constantly watching the every move of the tiger Richard Parker.
What transpires next is an extraordinary adventure story of survival, perseverance, faith and courage with the centrepiece of the movie being the often combative relationship between Pi and the tiger which is brilliantly brought to life by Lee using the visually spectacular technology of 3D.
Besides the powerful performance of first-time actor Sharma and a stirring storyline, it is also cinematographer Claudio Miranda’s cinematic colours and images that make the Life of Pi such a memorable movie experience.
With the awards season well underway it is not surprising that Lee has already won a Golden Globe award with more to be added to his collection as the awards season progresses culminating in the Oscars on 24 February.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 ½ Rubber Stamps
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