Title: Life of Pi
Country: USA, Taiwan
Language: English, Tamil
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director: Ang Lee
Mohd Abbas Khaleeli
Andrea Di Stefano
I cannot overpower my very own purist’s paranoia, I watched this film in theater a few days earlier in dubbed Italian (my Italian level is so-so), I could not reckon that any film has been officially “viewed” until I have watched it in its original form, so thanks to the latest BluRay copy, finally I am able to hail LIFE OF PI as my current favorite film of 2012!
Although the film literally is the biggest Oscar winner this year (4 wins out of 11 nominations) and Ang Lee now is up among the pre-eminent echelon of a multi-times BEST DIRECTOR winner, the unfulfilled appreciation (from the prim Academy) still seethes inside, the BEST PICTURE/BEST DIRECTOR division has stuck Ang Lee and his teams twice is unprecedentedly jaundiced.
Back to the film itself, I am pretty oblivious to Yann Martel’s source novel, but Ang Lee and his crew has deserved every single accolade because the outcome is simply astounding and mind-blowing, from the exotic Indian zoo, the palette of liveliness and quietude seeps directly to viewer’s mind curves, then, the visual stunts take over, the minutiae are constructed into an inconceivable kaleidoscope of sea survival (ship-wrecking, heaven-like sea surface, carnivore island).
The allegorical storyline which can be laconically recapitulated as “the story between a boy and a Bengal tiger floating on the sea”, also goes beyond one’s mundane imagination, the liaison between Pi and Richard Parker the tiger has gone through a minute incubation-to-transition cliffhanger (technically it is not a cliffhanger since we all know the ending beforehand, but the two-hander just conjures magic spell upon us, which is mesmerizing, eye-popping and heart-warming), with the brilliant first-time actor Suraj Sharma interacting viscerally with the green screen (an almost entirely CGI-germinated tiger heralds the auspicious retirement of all the animal cast, as long as money continues investing, leave those poor animals in peace and so are the ever-engaging animal activist). Both Suraj and Irrfan Khan (the adult Pi) deserve more recognition from their meticulous and soul-searching performances.
Being an agnostic, Pi’s eclectic belief in all disparate religions doesn’t register enough contention to me, and also it is claimed to be “a story could make one believe in God”, the film is marvelous in keeping its ambivalence so determined that either of the interpretation could find its recipients piously and without arousing any palpable repulsion even we all know how parochial people could react as far as “religions”is concerned.
The film is a flawless eye-candy and soul-remedy, multiple viewings are highly-recommended, it is a conscientious masterstroke to corroborate Ang Lee’s versatility in mastering his universe of filmmaking (no genre boundary at all), commixed his oriental philosophy with western first-class craftsmanship and esprit de corps, Ang Lee can swagger further on the path of a true auteur, not only among his peers, even for a holistic view in the film history, his trail can be indelible.