Life Of Pi, directed by Ang Lee, adapted from Yann Martel’s Booker prize winning novel of the same name seems to be the talk of the town now. From the moment I’d seen the previews, I was not so sure I wanted to go for this one. This would just be another Avatar-clone cashing in on the 3D and ‘jaw dropping visuals’ and nothing else. And I was correct.
Going with the ‘monotonously obvious choice’ for a cast when it comes to a Hollywood movies, Ang Lee went with AAA Indian actors like Irfan Khan and Tabu. I am not saying its a bad choice but weren’t there any other Indian actors who could replace Irfan Khan/Tabu? The most interesting portions of the movie is with the boy, the tiger and the ocean and thus Life Of Pi could be watched for its powerful singular performance of debutant Suraj Sharma taking the whole show on his shoulders. The completely CG Tiger (I still have suspicions that almost all of 100 minutes of it is CG) is a work of marvel indeed. Gollum was the last one I was impressed with and although ‘Richard Parker’ wasn’t as impressive as Gollum, it did manage to convince me and question me whether it was a real tiger or not. Add to that a remarkable score by Mychael Danna, Life of Pi does incredible wonders to both your senses…though but it still seldom manages to touch your heart.
I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Life Of Pi’ ends up in the Oscar buzz or even winning one just like the way the very-over-rated ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ had done. I never thought ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ deserved an Academy Award….its a technically sound, well adapted, well directed entertainer and there’s nothing else to it. Likewise ‘Life Of Pi’ is a visually extravagant, well made piece of adapted material. Some books are so good they are called something: A Classic and movies adapted from them, no matter how well they are made, wont be called the same. ‘Life Of Pi’ might stay with us till the Academy Awards or until all these dust of visual gimmicks settles down, after that I am sure not many people would even remember it. Nonetheless do watch it and take your kids along with you, they wouldn’t care all the philosophical and spiritual babble and chances are that they’d end up loving it more than you.