Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Gérard Depardieu, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Rafe Spall
Summary: The journey of 227 days in where Pi Patel is left with animals to survive after the ship which was carrying his family and few valuable animals sinks on the way their way to Canada. He finds an island in the way where he finds food and water and later reaches the coast of Mexico where he is rescued and taken to the hospital where he explains his journey of survival.
Director: Ang Lee
Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Runtime: 127 mins
What’s the story?
The movie Life of Pi is based on Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi which was published in 2001. The film Life of Pi came out in 2012 which was directed by an exceptional director Ang Lee, it was an adventure/drama film, and it features great 3D scenes which amazed people when they first saw it. The story features a journey of a boy who stranded on a boat across the Pacific with a Bengal tiger alongside him for 227 days.
The story starts in a small family zoo located in Pondichery, India where Piscine Molitor “Pi” is raised. Soon the family goes broke and is enable to take care of the animals of their zoo, then Pi’s father decides to take his family and few valuable animals of his zoo in a ship to Canada. Soon their ship collapses and this resulted in the boy Pi taking a lifeboat that was included in the ship and he survives along with some animals like a zebra, a hyena, and a tiger to survive. But there is no sign of any family members that survived, and the ship sinks into the deep waters.
Soon the young boy Pi realizes that he is not alone in the lifeboat as there is a tiger hiding in the lifeboat as well alongside him. In the earlier scene in the zoo that showcases Pi’s reaction when he meets the tiger that is named “Richard Parker” in the movie and the tiger tries to kill him. This shows that the wild animals are indeed wild and should not be trusted and it shows the audience that they should stay away from the wild animals as they will try to kill them no matter how much love they get from them.
The main part of the film is Pi’s journey in which he tries to survive a whole 227 days in the sea along with some wild animals. It shows how the Pi creates a bond with a tiger who first tries to kill him and it shows that the tiger can also learn. The outcome is surprising but I won’t spoil it for you as it is the main part of the movie and you should not miss it. And the way the 3D scenes are shown in the movie makes the film more interesting to watch, it is way better than any 3D film that I have watched yet. The 3D aspect of the film adds some sort of value to the story and the environment it features which makes it truly remarkable.
Is it any good?
The CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is also outstanding. Most of the footage if the tiger is CGI, but after some research, I found that they used four real tigers in some scenes of the movie. Pi also shows an exceptional performance which is played by an amazing actor Suraj Sharma in the movie and the way they show him throughout the moving constantly evolving day by day on his way to survive, he loses a lot of his weight, his skin color darkens, he gets weaker day by day and the way it is displayed in the movie makes you feel his situation and you start to feel for him.
After some days on the lifeboat, he tries fishing in order to overcome his hunger to feed Richard Parker the tiger as well but then the tiger jumps into the sea to hunt the fish himself and while his way back to the boat Pi considers letting him drown in the sea and to not let him onto the boat but he changes his mind and allows the tiger to come up to the boat. One night a whale comes to close to their boat and destroys their boat and their supplies this leads Pi to train Richard Parker the tiger and realize that it makes it much easier to survive with a tiger than to be alone in the pacific. Later he encounters an island it is a densely populated jungle of edible plants and other wild animals. The island also has a large population of meerkats and freshwater pools enabling both Pi and Richard Parker to eat and drink freely as much as they want.
After one night of stay, they leave the island set off again on the lifeboat, and they after some time reach the coast of Mexico. As soon as they reach the coast Richard Parker runs to the jungle which leaves Pi alone and sad later he is rescued by the locals and he is brought to the hospital nearby. Some insurance agents from the Japanese Freighter Company also visit Pi to interview as they are curious about him but they do not believe him when he tells them his story on how he survives and they keep asking him what happened. He eventually tells them a different story he replaces all the animals in his journey to the humans. This leaves them disappointed and they proceed to leave without questioning Pi. He tells both of his stories to the author and asks him which one he prefers the author chooses the first one which has animals. This doesn’t affect Pi as in both cases his family members die.
The lead role of the film is Pi who is played by Suraj Sharma when he is 16 to 17 years old, Pi as an adult is played by the most well-known actors of Bollywood Irrfan Khan, Pi at the age of 5 is played by Gautam Belur, and Pi at the age of 11 to 12 is played by Ayush Tandon, Rafe Spall as a writer, Tabu as Gita Patel Pi’s mother, Adil Hussain as Santosh Patel Pi’s father, Ayan Khan as Ravi Patel Pi’s older brother at age 7, Mohamed Abbas Khaleeli as Ravi Patel at age 13 to 14, Vibish Sivakumar as Ravi Patel at age 18 to 19, Gérard Depardieu as a Cook, Wang Po-Chieh and Jag Huang as Sailors, Andrea Di Stefano as a Priest, Shravanthi Sainath as Anandi Pi’s Girlfriend at the age 16 to 17, Mythili Prakash as Anandi as an Adult, Raj Patel as Anandi’s and Pi’s son, Hadiqa Hamid as Anandi’s and Pi’s daughter, Elie Alouf as Maternal Uncle.
In the end, the filmmaker leaves us clueless and the viewers make their mind. This was not mentioned in the novel. But in the film, we are given two sides of the stories one featuring the animals and one with the humans, and we are left to decide what we prefer.