'Life of Pi’, directed by Ang Lee, is a film so gripping and stunning to look at, you cannot blink for fear of missing out something. Exploiting 3D so richly, nearly every frame resembles a spectacular watercolor painting with open blue skies, ocean, the gorgeous marine life. Ang Lee, the director of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sucks you into this seemingly impossible story of a boy, the sea, and a tiger.
The boy, played by debutant Suraj Sharma, is 16-year-old nicknamed Pie, lives in Pondicherry with his parents who own a zoo. When the family moves to Canada, they pack up their belongings, exotic animals included, and board a ship. A massive storm sinks the ship but Pi and a tiger named Richard Parker survive and are stuck on a lifeboat.
It portrays how a boy protects himself from becoming a tiger’s dinner, about his incredible experiences during this 200-day long ordeal, and about how Pi thought of God while on that boat, surrounded by endless water.
Adapted from Yann Martel’s Booker-winning novel, the film is a visual marvel. Nothing is as riveting as the relationship and the precarious living arrangement between Pi and the tiger, which is the film’s most stunning creation, thanks to computer-generated special effects. Lee employs CGI to deliver jaw-dropping beauty like a nighttime scene in which the ocean is lit up by colorful fish. Another stunning sequence is one in which Pi and the tiger encounter a shoal of flying fish.
Suraj Sharma steers “Life of Pi” with a compelling ease. Irrfan Khan brings a soulful maturity to the part of the older Pi and Adil Hussain and graceful Tabu are nicely cast as the younger Pi’s parents.