Review: Life of Pi

Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
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Oscar winning director Ang Lee experiences film-making in 3D for the first time with this adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel.

Life Of Pi is the first film since Avatar to fully exploit the format, immersing us in the central character’s water-logged odyssey. Lee’s vision is breathtaking and entire sequences have been masterfully choreographed to take full advantage of the depth that 3D brings to the big screen.

A school of flying fish darts straight at the camera, causing us to duck and weave; the walls of a freshwater pool seem to stretch down into inky blackness forever; and shards of moonlight break through overlapping tree canopies laden with chattering meerkats. Yet all of this gorgeous wrapping would mean nothing without a deep emotional core, and once again, Lee elicits stunning performances from his ensemble cast that leave us choking back tears.

In a slight departure from the source novel, screenwriter David Magee uses a simple framing device to draw us into the narrative.

An inquisitive writer turns up at the door of Pi Patel, having been told the stranger’s life story deserves to be immortalised in print.

Pi recounts his youth as the son of a circus owner, who decided to sell the family business and emigrate to Canada – when a storm causes their boat to overturn leaving young Pi in a lifeboat along with a zebra, orang-utan, hyena and a tiger called Richard Parker.

Life Of Pi is a deeply moving tribute to the endurance of the human spirit.