Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life of PI - Entertaining and Endearing

Life of PI - by Yann Martel is an old book (By old I mean 10 years at the least) - which won the Man Booker Prize. I remember reading it while on my way to Mumbai on Rajdhani express and was utterly fascinated and riveted by the book. So much so that, I did'nt even realise that the jouney was over and I was still in the train 10 mins after every one had disembarked ( I was alone in my coupe!!!!). Well, when the movie was announced, I dismissed it as one of those movies which cant be as good as the book... but when the movie was released, I was inexorably drawn to it and one fine WEEKDAY, I went to see it. The 3D version . And boy- was I glad!!!!

You can catch the story at this wikipedia page so It shall save me from making this a long and boring post. The movie begins with our protagonist - Piscine Molitor Patel (aptly played by Suraj Sharma) and Irrfan Khan exploring various religions, watched upon indulgently by his parents- Adil Hussain and Tabu. The screen play captures all the small nuances of the book in great detail and I was thrilled to see what I read coming to life on screen.

The shipwreck is captured beautifully in 3D and is one of the films highlights. The very picturisation of a zebra and orangutan swimming an climbing on to the life boat is a lovely scene. Pi's efforts to keep the hyena from attacking him are hilarious but not the killing of the Orangutan and Zebra  by the Hyena. Richard Parker (the tiger) is a magnificent beast whose instinct  to devour the dead animals and then turn his attention on Pi is captured with a realism that sends chills down your spine. But Pi epitomises the "Never Say Die" human spirit and works out a method to keep the tiger at bay and also keep himself alive.

The photography and visuals are stunning. One scene where the entire Pacific ocean is lit up at night with millions of blue Jelly fishes is a sight to behold. So is the depiction of the Carnivorous island with millions of Meerkats (which Richard Parker feasts on). The Sliver of hope on which a shipwrecked castaway lives on is beautifully captured by the director and his cinematography.
what also comes out is Pi's compassion for Richard Parker. Though he could've let him starve to death or even kill him, he keeps him alive.

The entire movie moves between flashback and reality, with Pi narrating the story to an author. All in all, watching the movie is a good way to spend about two hours +  and be enthralled and entertained.

Rating - **** 1/2

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