I read Life of Pi a long time back and do not recall much of the story except that it was about a boy and a tiger that are adrift in the ocean after their ship sinks. What I do remember about the book is that I had great difficulty finishing it. There were parts of it, which were disgusting, and some explicit descriptions that had left me puky then. Anyway, the overall feeling I have carried of the book is that of revulsion.
The movie is nothing like that. It is beautifully made and each frame is breathtaking. Any signs of revulsion are completely photoshopped out. You wonder what happens to the dead bodies of the zebra, the heyna and the orangutan? How does the boat remain clean and not stink up with their remains? I think these details add reality to the story. But you are given glassy still waters, skies awash with stars, sea life that is neon lit and surprises that will take your breath away. It's a National Geographic magazine story come to life.
The emotional life of Pi as he grapples with death staring him in the face, either from getting killed by the tiger or by starvation or dehydration is handled with a wry sense of humour by the character. Suraj Sharma who debuts with this film is not bad as Pi and the CGI tiger Richard Parker has a humanity which is quite unnerving as it is endearing.
I would have liked the movie to engage me more on an emotional level. Pi's relationship with God and how he deals with his experience is brought out by Irrfan Khan perfectly in the last scene. That one scene from him brings the story closure and shows us yet again what a fine actor he is.
Pi is definitely worth a watch for the visual beauty alone. I have never seen better use of 3D before and suspect it will be a while before another movie comes along to match the spectacualr spectacle that this one provides.
I suppose it is completely different from the book, since my reactions to the two narrations are so radically different but I am glad for it. The visuals from this film will stay with you a long time and refresh you on days when your world seems mundane and boring. Watch it.view less