This is Life of Pi. An Oscar contender, or just a really pretty 3D flick?
Piscine Patel, mostly known as Pi, tells a writer about an amazing journey he had as a teenager. After a shipwreck, young Pi loses his family and finds himself having to share a lifeboat with a Bengali tiger, which he names Richard Parker, from the zoo his family used to own. This is his story about how he spent weeks on that lifeboat with that tiger.
Whenever I see a famous book, I always tell myself that someday they’re gonna make a movie out of it, and this is no exception. I haven’t read the book, but I saw this movie and now I’m highly interested in reading it. I liked this movie.
Let’s talk about the 3D first. Some people say that the 3D is similar to Avatar. I guess for all the glowing lights and the portrayal of nature, but I think it was done better here, because the 3D was applied before we get to the main storyline. Before we get to see the grand visuals, we’re given a glimpse of Pi’s childhood as well as popping visuals such as colorful animals or someone floating in the water. The visuals were done very well, and the first visuals prepared us for what was to come later. Things fly at you and float in front of you and you feel like you’re there. The 3D was impressive and made the film look grand.
Pi, to me, is a very interesting and likeable character. As a kid he followed 3 religions: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. As an adult he claims that the story he’s about to tell will make you believe in God, yet interestingly enough we’re never told what kind of God we’re supposed to believe in. This idea is probably the fact that no matter what religion we’re following, believing in God represents the same thing: having faith. The story itself isn’t just about surviving, but about having faith, and Pi is more about faith than he is about logic, which is why he tends to do foolish things. Pi tries to understand the concept of faith, and throughout the story his faith is tested in very dangerous moments.
The relationship with the tiger was also done very well, and I liked how the actor had to work with something that wasn’t there for most of the film and make it seem believable. That’s harder than it looks. The tiger felt like it had a personality, and thankfully so, because the film was also about the relationship of humans, nature and the unknown. The conflict between Richard Parker and Pi was the highlight of the film. I loved the characters’ fight over their territory but at the same time their need for each other to survive, their struggles to fulfil their everyday necessities, etc. The whole journey from beginning to end was amazing.
I could go on into an analysis of the whole film, mentioning all the motifs and the themes and the patterns I found as I was watching it, but honestly I can’t. I’m making such a short review compared to my other ones, because frankly this is a film you have to really experience to understand. I should actually describe this film as a fantastic journey. There’s a solid story with beautiful visuals and interesting characters and great themes about life… yeah, it was really satisfying. I say go watch it.
Is it an Oscar contender? I think it is.