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 filmlinc.com.

20th Century Fox
Unrated
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

Channing Tatum returns in the title role, but legendary director, Steven Soderbergh and several actors critical to the success of the original are missing.
Stephen Boss parlayed television success into a film career, appearing in Hairspray, Blades of Glory, Stomp the Yard 2 and, most notably, several installments of the Step Up franchise.
Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015, including Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, While We're Young, and The Decline of Western Civilization.
A gulf in the attitudes of two men had a profound effect on the orphans' fortunes. One is stable and successful and the other had many scrapes with the law.
Thai (arrow), a film by Henry Kro, 37th out of 1190 films from 86 countries. Features 16 year old Karbi heroine Rengsajir P Killingpi, daughter of acclaimed Diphu martial artist
Prairie Miller discusses the beat poets, punk rock, Elijah's journey from Frodo to hero worship, Auden, Blake, McCarthyism, and the radicalization of Thomas

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 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