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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Life of Pi is a movie you don’t want to miss this year

Photo Credit: MCT Campus








It would be shocking if “Life of Pi” is not nominated for an Oscar for “Best Picture;” the overall quality of the movie has Oscar nominations written all over it.

The movie is an adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel, which follows Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel’s amazing journey of being stranded out at sea for 227 days. However, what makes his survival most extraordinary is that he shared a lifeboat with an adult Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Pi struggles with more than Richard Parker; he has to battle the raging sea, which threatens to sink the tiny boat, fight off starvation and hallucinations and make his way off a strange carnivorous island.

Despite a few differences between the novel and the movie, director Ang Lee, famous for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain,” did an astounding job in bringing Pi’s story to life.

However, for those who enjoy a lot of dialogue, this movie may be a little uncomfortable. During Pi’s retelling of his journey at sea, there is not much speaking as it is just him and the tiger. However, Lee makes up for it with intense visuals.

The visuals were really mind blowing; shots of bioluminescent creatures and mirror-like ocean surfaces were only some of the more breathtaking scenes in the movie, and unlike most movies today, the 3D did not feel forced. It managed to add quality to the film. It was not overused to compensate for a poor storyline either. Instead, every time something flitted out towards the audience, it felt natural, almost like it was supposed to happen.

As if the stunning visuals were not enough, the movie also delivered on the story. Pi doesn’t simply narrate the story as he does in the novel; instead, the movie has him tell his story to an eager author with intentions of converting the tale of his journey into a book.

Despite its PG rating, this movie is no children’s movie. Between the tiger lashing out at Pi, Pi watching the ship carrying his family sink and the heavy moments in which Pi admits to himself that he will probably die, “Life of Pi” is a little too dark to be considered for young children.

Suraj Sharma, the actor who played Pi, had an amazing performance that really sold the story. His struggle was so much more emotional based off the feelings Sharma was able to convey. In the ending scenes when he retells his story to the boat’s insurance investigators, his struggle seems so realistic. Even though the tiger may have been animated at some points, Sharma was able to make the relationship between the two appear real.

Overall, this movie was fantastic and definitely a must-see. Since there is so much going on, it may be beneficial to even watch it a second or third time just to catch all the details. Despite being more than two hours long, it is still worth the watch.

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    Gavin LangdonJan 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I really enjoyed this movie. There were some scenes that felt like they were just designed for 3D (such as the flying fish scene, where there are actually black bars on the screen so the fish appear to be “jumping out at you”). I didn’t see it in 3D since it gives me a headache, but I still thought it was a very fun and thoughtful movie.