Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life of Pi (2012)

**Seen on December 21st, 2012**

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 Bengal tiger. [imdb]

Nominated for 11 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: Ang Lee (WINNER)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography (WINNER)
Best Original Score (WINNER)
Best Original Song
Best Editing
Best Production Design
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Visual Effects (WINNER)

I must confess I am becoming softer towards this film as time goes by... I didn't like it when I first saw it, but it seems my memory is prioritizing, so the good stuff always comes to mind. And by good stuff I mean the insanely fabulous visual effects & the entire experience on sea. What my memory tries to erase: the terrible ending, the weakness of the last 30 minutes, anything connected to the present times. That is where Ang Lee fails, that is where the screenplay fails, and it almost spoils the entire film for me (and for many others, as I've heard).
But when it's good, it's really good. I saw it in 3D, an experience I generally dislike, but it kinda made sense for this. The cinematography, the fx work, the original score - great, stunning, lovely... I even like the song. Everything below-the-line is really well put together. But what can you do about the story... it's interesting at times, but as soon as it hits the religious aspects it misses big. Notice that I am not someone to run away from such a debate, just that in the end the film wants to be smarter than it is, and that's not what we paid the ticket for. It fails when it tries to go all philosophical, because - I'd say - of the superficial way it attempts to bring ideas. But as an experience, as a ride, the film is mostly good and visually stunning.
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. Am I being too generous? The film it's so unbalanced that it's hard to judge. If anyone's curious, I'd give it the wins for Original Score & Visual Effects.


  1. You're right, I basically agree with everything. I would have voted for Anna Karenina in Score, though, and it's not even close for me. :D I'm just not as much of a fan of Indian music (or themes or even stories) as everyone else in the world.

  2. Yeah, I agree. I really liked the special effects and all but it left me feeling so unsatisfied. I'm a sucker for a good ending and this was a bit blah. It took the magic out of the whole film. Great review.