Coming to theatres in time for the holidays from Academy Award winning director Ang Lee and Fox 2000 Pictures is a film that will challenge everything you believe from Yann Martel’s novel in the LIFE OF PI.
This film tells the story of Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), a young man who lives in Pondicherry, India where his father owns a zoo. In that zoo is a tiger named Richard Parker and Pi is amazed by him.
One day Pi’s father announces that they can no longer have the zoo and must move to Canada. The family sails on a huge freighter to reach their destination with the animals that are going to new homes. During a violent storm the ship sinks leaving Pi on a lifeboat alone.
But not for long as Richard Parker jumps into the 26-foot long lifeboat and the journey together begins. Fighting for survival the boy and the tiger do what they must to stay alive.
FINAL WORD: Khan as the older Pi is such an amazing choice to tell the story. As he meets the writer who wants to tell his story there is such a calmness and sense of self from this actor. His voice is calm and soothing making the viewer comfortable to settle in for more of the story.
As Sharma takes over the role of the young man Pi the story becomes so riveting. This young actor takes us on his journey of discovery, of survival, and the constant flux of nature. This young actor (17 at the time of filming and 19 now) actually got the role because he agreed to go with his brother to an audition!
How did he handle the role? “I can’t put it in words,” says Sharma, “It’s too much. It was emotionally and spiritually and physically exhausting. I would never be able to tell people what I went through exactly, but hopefully it will come through in some ways.”
Watching this young man handle the pain of losing his family and the realizing that Richard Parker isn’t your average boat mate – Khan is beautiful. The though process that this young man went through was enough for me from beginning to end.
Ang Lee won an Academy Award in 2006 for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and 2001 for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Tacking the Martel novel LIFE OF PI, Lee has once again shown why he is a director to be reckoned with bringing drama and beauty together for audiences who love film.
Other cast include: Gerard Depardieu as the Frenchman, Rafe Spall as the Writer, Tabu as Gita Patel (Pi’s Mother), Adil Hussain as Santosh Patel (Pi’s Father), Shravanthi Sainath as Pi’s girlfriend, Ayush Tandon as young Pi, Andrea Di Stefano as the Priest, Ayan Khan as Ravi Patel.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give LIFE OF PI four tubs of popcorn out of five. What a beautiful film with a story that unfolds in such a startling way. This is the type of film that after viewing you want to sit with someone at a coffee shop and discuss it. There are so many ways things can be interpreted and everyone will definitely have their own.
It will not surprise me at all to see several nominations for this year’s Academy Award to be directing, acting, visual effects just to name a few for LIFE OF PI.
The film is filled with themes of love, family, friendships, loyalties, faith and determination and all on so many levels. The film is also visually stunning finding beauty even in the most tragic of moments. I truly intend to see LIFE OF PI again because there is so much to be seen and understood that one time isn’t enough.
In the end – all living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.