Life Of Pi (2012)

A review - by Shlomoh Sherman
August 28, 2013

Life Of Pi (2012)
Director: Ang Lee
Writers: Yann Martel (novel), David Magee (screenplay)
Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain
Plot Keywords: tiger - zoo - lifeboat
Genres: Adventure: Drama - Fantasy
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril
Parents Guide: View content advisory
Filming locations: USA - Taiwan - UK - Montreal - Quebec, Canada
Language: English - Tamil - French - Japanese - Hindi
Release Date: November 21, 2012 (USA)
Also Known As: Una Aventura Extraordinaria
Box Office:
Budget: $120,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $22,451,514 (USA) (November 21, 2012)
Gross: $124,976,634 (USA) (July 5, 2013)
Runtime: 127 min
Soundtracks: Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa - Written by Rahul Dev Burman (as Dev Rahul Burman) and Gulzar - Performed by Lata Mangeshkar, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kishore Kumar Courtesy of Saregama India - By arrangement with The Royalty Network, Inc.
Crazy Credits: The opening credits have letters or words that react to action on the screen, such as the "Y" while a monkey is hanging on a branch. Also, there are words fluttering while the zebras swish their tails.
Company Credits: Production Co: Fox 2000 Pictures, Dune Entertainment, Ingenious Media
Technical Specs: Sound Mix: Dolby Digital - Datasat; Color: Color
Plot Summary: A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.


This has to be one of the most amazing films I have ever seen.

In Canada, an Indian storyteller, Pi Patel, is telling the story of his life to a writer friend. Pi spent his childhood in Pondicherry, India, where his father owned a zoo.

Although his parents are atheists, Pi, as a child, becomes transfixed on religion. He refuses to believe that the world moves of its own volition without the guiding hand of a Deity. Being raised in India, Pi proclaims to his family that he has become a Hindu. On the following days, he says that he has also become a Christian and a Muslim, and will investigate other faiths as well. Later in the film, his writer friend jokingly asks him if he has also become a Jew. Pi responds that as a matter of fact, he has taken classes in KABALLAH at a local university.

Pi also becomes enamoured of a young Indian girl who is his neighbor and he goes daily to watch her dance.

One day, his father tells the family that he has gotten a job in Canada where the family will be moving, and so he has to close the zoo sell all the animals.

They boook passage on a Japanese cargo ship and bring the animals with them. One day out at sea, a storm blows up and the ship upon which they are sailing is destroyed.Pi is thrown into the Pacific but manages to grab on to a nearby lifeboat. He faints and when he awakes several hours later, he discovers he is sharing the boat with a zebra, an orangutan, and a hyena. The hyena is aggressive and eventually attacks the zebra and the orangutan, killing them. He is about to attack Pi when suddenly a male Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker, jumps out from under the boat's canvas cover and kills the hyena.

Now the major drama of the film unfolds. Pi is now alone with an adult male tiger in the midst of the Pacific Ocean with no idea when or even if he will be rescued. Pi needs to find a way to survive. Using his knowledge of animals learned from his father, his innate intelligence and cunning, and his fear, he manages to stay alive while trying desparately to gain the tiger's trust and cooperation. But most of all, Pi turns to God for help and guidance. One morning, after weeks at sea, Pi awakes to find the boat resting on the beach of a small island on which he discovers a pack of hundreds of MeerCats and the soil rich with fresh vegetables. Now both Pi and Richard Parker sate their hunger. Pi also finds a small fresh water pool from which he drinks thirstily.

After several days, Pi understands that he cannot stay on the island and hope to be found and rescued. Packing the boat with water and as many MeerCats as will fit,he enters the boat and signals for the tiger to follow.

Several more days and a major storm pass, and finally the boat drifts on to the western coast of Mexico. Miraculosuly, Pi has coexisted with Richard Parker for 227 days and has lived.

Pi looks up and sees the tiger walking along the beach, stopping, and looking at the jungle ahead of him. Pi knows that Richard Parker will disappear into the jungle and forever out of his life. He and the tiger have shared so much to survive. Pi hopes that the tiger will turn around and look at him with some sense of gratitude before walking into the jungle. But his hope is not realized and the tiger never even stops to look back. Apparently God has given a sense of feeling gratefull to people but not to beasts.

Pi is taken to a local hospital by the natives who find him on the beach. While he is recuperating, he is visited by Japanese authorities who interrogate him about the causes of the ship's destruction and how he has managed to survive all by himself for more than half a year. Of course he relates the story of his adventure to his interrogators but they refuse to believe his story and demand that he tell them “the truth.’ After hours of grilling and questioning, Pi tells another story.

According to the second story, when the ship sank, Pi found himself in a lifeboat with his mother, a sailor, and the ship's cook, a brutish and savage Frenchman. The sailor is mortally wounded so the cook cuts pieces off his body and uses them for bait to catch fish. Pi's mother is understandably horrified at this and protests and slaps the cook in the face. In retaliation, the cook stabs her and throws her overboard. Although only a lad of 16, anger at his mother's murder gives him the adrenaline that he needs to avenge his mother's death. Pi jumps at the cook, kills him, and throws his body overboard. Eventually Pi is rescued when the lifeboat arrives on the Mexican coast. The Japanese are more satisfied with this version.

As Pi finishes telling his writer friend the dual stories, he asks him what he thinks. "Well", the writer responds, "in the second story, it is obvious to me that the sailor was the zebra, your mother was the orangutan, the cook was the hyena, and YOU were the tiger."

"Yes", Pi says, "but which story do you believe is the real one?" The writer hesitates a second and then says, "I believe the story of you and Richard Parker is the real story."

Pi is content with his friend's answer. He tells him that the story is now all his and he can write it as he will.

The audience is left wondering which story really IS the true one. The fantastic one or the one Pi felt constrained to tell his interrogators? In the end, the truth is that no matter which story is true, the enduring faith in a young boy that God would save him and his animal companion from destruction, allowed both of them to survive.

At the conclusion, Pi tells his friend that his wife is about to arrive and he will introduce her to him. The writer says that he was unaware that Pi was married. "Yes", says Pi, "I married my childhood dancing sweetheart."

I cannot urge you enough to see this moving film.

Did You Know?
Trivia: Suraj Sharma never intended to audition for the film. He went to a casting call to support his brother, and beat out more than 3,000 hopefuls for the lead role.

Goofs: When the camera zooms out after the flying fish have gone, the raft is gone. In the next scene, the raft is still connected to the boat. Frequently Asked Question: Q: Are the animals in the movie real or computer generated?

Absolutely Jaw-Dropping: November 21, 2012 | review by ftTallGuy (United States): Just finished watching the Midnight Premiere. Did not disappoint one bit. The Acting is incredibly believable, and the ending ties it all together. The story sorta drags in the beginning, but Ang Lee did a good job keeping my attention to the film. The Animation is incredibly realistic. I couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what wasn't. Not one moment did I doze off. Definitely worth 127 minutes of your life. Ang Lee, you did an outstanding job. To the Cast, you all did excellent. I am very satisfied! Although there were a lot of pros, there were some cons. At one point the format of the Film switched from 16:9 to 4:3, but that might have been the projector at the Cinemark I attended. I also noticed some of the animations of animals started to go off screen and you could see the animated objects in the black area of the Wide Screen part (I'm assuming that was for the 3D, but I watched it in 2D so it looked sketchy). But it's minor. An average viewer won't even notice it, I'm an aspiring filmmaker, and I notice the little things!! I enjoyed the film, and you will too. 9/10. Worth it.

Recent Posts:
"The animal Story is True." - etdouglas
"A conscious choice to become religious" - Gman1066
"It's not about which story is true" - rawthar
"This story will make you believe in God" - justaguy93
"A different perspective (perhaps)" - Simple_Jack13

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From Wikapedia []

Despite the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 2013 Academy Awards, Rhythm & Hues Studios (who provided most of the visual effects for the film) was forced to file for bankruptcy on February 11, 2013, citing unfair competition from subsidized and tax exempt foreign studios.[80] This sparked a demonstration of nearly 500 VFX artists who protested outside of the 2013 Academy Awards.[81] Inside, during the Oscars, when R&H visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer brought up R&H during his acceptance speech for Life of Pi, the microphone was cut off.[82] This started an uproar among many visual effects industry professionals, changing profile pictures on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to show the green key colour, in order to raise awareness for what is happening to the effects industry.[83] In addition, director Ang Lee was criticized by the protest leader for his failure to thank the effect industry, "Ang thanked the crew, the actors, his agent, his lawyer and the entire country of Taiwan right down to the team that built the wave-pool on the soundstage where Pi was shot. But failed to mention 100s of artists who made not only the main character of the tiger, but replaced that pool, making it look like a real ocean for 80% of his movie." He was also criticized for earlier complaining about the costs of visual effects.

Main article: List of accolades received by Life of Pi (film) Life of Pi was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won four (more than any other film from 2012): Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Best Visual Effects (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan de Boer and Donald R. Elliott) and Best Original Score (Mychael Danna).[89][90] It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and won for Best Original Score. The film also won awards for cinematography, film editing, sound effects and original score at several other awards ceremonies. In addition to the academy award, Ang Lee won best director awards from the Kansas City, Las Vegas, and London Film Critics. The film was awarded the Best Picture award by the Las Vegas Film Critics Society and was named one of the top ten films of the year by the New York Film Critics and the Southeastern Film Critics.

Cast overview, first billed only:
Suraj Sharma          ... Pi Patel
Irrfan Khan             ... Adult Pi Patel
Ayush Tandon       ... Pi Patel (11 / 12 Years)
Gautam Belur       ... Pi Patel (5 Years)
Adil Hussain       ... Santosh Patel
Tabu                   ... Gita Patel
Ayaan Khan             ... Ravi Patel (7 Years)
Mohamud Abbas Khaleeli ... Ravi Patel (13 / 14 Years)
Vibish Sivakumar       ... Ravi Patel (18 / 19 Years)
Rafe Spall             ... Writer
Gérard Depardieu         ... Cook
James Saito             ... Older Insurance Investigator
Jun Naito             ... Younger Insurance Investigator
Andrea Di Stefano       ... Priest
Shravanthi Sainath ... Anandi

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