Life of Pi

  Suraj Sharma … Pi Patel
Irrfan Khan … Adult Pi Patel
Rafe Spall … Writer
Ayush Tandon … Pi Patel (11 / 12 Years)
Gautam Belur … Pi Patel (5 Years)
Adil Hussain … Santosh Patel
Tabu … Gita Patel
Ayan Khan … Ravi Patel (7 Years)
Mohd Abbas Khaleeli … Ravi Patel (13 / 14 Years)
Vibish Sivakumar … Ravi Patel (18 / 19 Years)
Gérard Depardieu … Cook

Once again, my efforts to see Anna Karenina and Thw Silver Linings Playbook were thwarted. But, alas, I saw Life of Pi.
Wow. This is the cinematography of dreams!
Great performances, absolutely unbelievable special effects and 3D (yes, I loved the 3D, which I normally don’t favor), as well as an excellent script and great editing make this a one of the best films of the year.

4 stars A+

The Life of Pi, is primarily a tale of survival, where Pi Patel, now a professor at a university in Canada,  tells a local novelist the story of his 227 days shipwrecked, floating in a small lifeboat. Saying just that, one might think this is story that they have heard before, but it is that fact that Pi shares his boat with a full grown Tiger that helps set this tale apart.

In the early scenes, we watch Pi as he helps his family maintain their zoo in India.  Pi is raised Hindu  but at age 12, he is befriended and introduced to Christianity by a local priest and then also becomes attracted to  Islam. For Pi these religions  are not in conflict, but are part of his general understanding of God.

When Pi is 16  his father explains his fears about the political climate  in India, and his intention to close the zoo and move to Canada. Their plan is to travel by ship with a number of  their animals they believe will be most valuable when sold in North America) During their voyage The ship is tossed about in a massive storm, as the water washes over the deck, the ship takes on water and sinks. We watch Pi desperately  trying to find and save  his family, but he gets washed overboard near a lone lifeboat.  It becomes clear that he is the only person to survive, yet he is not alone on the boat. He sees that both injured zebra,  an orangutan as well as a hungry hyena, who makes quick work of both other animals.   It is at this point when we are surprised to find that hidden under the tarp  is  The tiger (Named Richard Parker) who makes quick work of the hyena, leaving just the tiger and Pi.

Tigers have large appetites, and that can include a teenager trapped in a boat; so Pi  realizes that his life depends on finding food enough for both him and Richard Parker. Luckily the ocean is filled with fish.

The film tells us a story, but also raises the question of the believability of the story. In fact we at one point are told an alternative account.

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