life of pi

After lunch, I went to watch Life of Pi. Had missed the movie’s original run late last year, but it started showing again at selected cinemas recently due to the Oscar buzz. (It received 11 nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, and eventually won four: Best Original Score – Michael Danna; Best Cinematography – Claudio Miranda; Best Visual Effects – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan de Boer, and Donald R Elliott; and of course Best Director – Ang Lee.) The movie is based on the book of the same name – I had a copy, which I lent Ahgong and somehow he lost it. :(

Like the book, the movie told the story of Pi Patel, who survives a shipwreck and then a journey across the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat with a tiger called Richard Parker.

I loved the opening scenes of the movie, which depicted various animals in a zoo in India. Simply breathtaking!

And when Pi, raised as a Hindu, grows into his teenage years, he also becomes a Christian and a Muslim. The part where his brother teases him about his religiosity is quite funny. (In the book, the pandit, imam and priest discover that Pi has become a member of all three religions and start a loud hilarious argument. I was quite disappointed that the scriptwriters had not included this scene in the movie, since it was one of my most favourite scenes from the book, but then, it would probably spoil the languid feel of the movie’s beginning.)

Richard Parker, largely computer generated, was amazingly realistic and speaks for the miracle of modern technology. (Wondered where the real tiger ended and the computer generated one began!) Other computer generated scenes like the one with the humongous whale leaping out of the sea on a starlight night, were pretty astounding as well. They looked a teeny weeny little artificial but I assume that was Pi’s imagination enhancing the tableaux. :D

In all, the movie was pretty good, but I think I prefer the book just a little bit more.

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