Film #11. Life of Pi (2012)

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Ang Lee is one of my favourite filmmakers. I have seen and loved many of his films including Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon (2000), Lust, Caution (2007) and Hulk (2003). The best thing I love about the Oscar-winning Taiwanese director is his highly inclusive philosophy of arts that seeks the common themes in the western and eastern cultures. Born and raised in Taiwan and educated in the U.S, he has become my lifelong role model for making so many things possible.

As soon as I learned that his new film will be the adaptation of Yann Matel’s best-selling novel, I thought it was one of the smartest choices Hollywood producers made for this year. Ang Lee is one of the few people in the industry who could really be completely free from the Hollywood clichés that have pretty much tired out most moviegoers like myself.  As such, I have been waiting to see what kind of fresh impact his new instalment will make to the world audience.

I have previously attempted the novel but never got to the end of it. Since its publication, Life of Pi has been chosen as a required reading for many schools in Canada.  Basically, this is a story about Pi, a young Indian boy who was shipwrecked in his way to Canada with his family and found himself left alone with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker in a lifeboat. Raised as a younger son of a zookeeper, Pi has to figure out ways to harmoniously coexist with this carnivorous beast to survive.

One impressive feature of the movie is its breathtaking cinematography and visual effects.  I think there are no other movie other than Ang Lee’s Life of Pi that gives a better view of the sunrise and twilight of the Pacific. I just wanted to capture many of the scenes in the movie and put them on my desktop…

I would never try to see this movie if I haven’t heard about it even better than the book. I am so happy that Life of Pi has been adapted by Ang Lee who has the power to transcend the cultural barriers and universalize the authenticity of the story in the hearts of millions. I absolutely adored Suraj Sharma who played the lead. Pi would be perhaps the most wise, patient and remarkable survivor you will ever see in the screen.

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