NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Life Of Pi Movie Review

By     get stories by email

Religion and science have long been at war with one another for centuries. But in Ang Lee's soggy survival at sea saga Life Of Pi, they make for exceedingly strange when not bizarre bedfellows.

Or rather, lost at sea in a faith-based encroaching fantastical 3D tall tale which both literally and figuratively poses the question, can a story, or rather the elaborate gadgetry of a Hollywood movie make you believe in God? Let's just say, techies in the audience are likely to swoon as usual over the supernatural special effects that tend to upstage the narrative, but the doubters may prevail.

Life Of Pi is adapted from French Canadian writer Yann Martel's 2001 novel, and reportedly inspired by Martel's mystical conversion while visiting India. The story itself follows the ordeal of Indian teen Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), who survives 227 days on a raft in the Pacific. This, after the ship carrying his family and the zoo animals they own to a new life in Canada, sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

The harrowing prolonged journey, during which Pi finds himself accompanied by several of the zoo creatures, including an intimidating tiger, is in effect a mixture of reality and hallucination to which only Pi is privy. And that is narrated throughout the film by the adult Pi (Irfan Khan) to a Canadian friend who is a nonbeliever. But who will presumably by the story's end see the metaphysical light, as will the audience.

Did I mention that the tiger's name is Richard Parker? Don't ask. And as famished as the carnivorous jungle critter may be, he's never quite hungry enough, or even clever enough, to devour his raft mate. That is, if you buy into the swimming tiger yarn as Pi's gullible, captivated colleague does. But that's apparently the moral of this story, that religious faith has no reason, and is a dish best served up in well, mesmerizing Hollywood 3D.

As for the telling of the tale, let's just say the narration is delivered in an annoying monotone, and somewhat akin to being stranded at sea for a very dull long time. While the digitalized waves knocking both man and beast about, may leave you yearning for some Dramamine. If not an infusion of caffeine. In summation, time to put out a call for the separation of Church and Hollywood.

The Verdict: Richard Parker, you're no Moby Dick.

Life Of Pi is the Opening Night feature of the 2012 New York Film Festival. More information about the NYFF is online at

20th Century Fox
2 stars

To see the trailer of Life Of Pi:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Created by Sir James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan was first produced as a play in 1904 and adapted into an illustrated novel seven years thereafter. The enchanting fairy tale made its screen debut as a silent movie in 1924, with assorted remakes, seque
Where to Invade Next hops from one topic to another, never lets the audience know what it's about and, after two hours of cinematic navel gazing, it's unlikely they care.
Prairie Miller has a Halloween Visitation. Cult Horror Director Sam Raimi drops in, Death Of A Salesman In Yiddish and classical concert pianist Hannah Reimann
Bond is back, possibly Daniel Craig's last outing. Can SPECTRE step out of the shadow cast by SKYFALL's great acclaim. Read Kingsley's review to find out!
This race hate documentary chronicles neo-Nazi relocation to Leith, a small town in North Dakota, and what the locals did to get rid of the supremacists.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Ben Vereen, about Time Out of Mind, his movie with Richard Gere, a film about the homeless struggling to survive.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site