After Pi tells the Writer his unbelievable tale of survival, the latter says “That’s a lot to take in,” and it’s beyond true. Suraj Sharma gets to deliver quite a tour de force performance, especially considering he’s basically acting against a green screen for an hour of the film. I said that I still don’t have any interest in reading the original novel and that’s because there’s no way the book could ever trump what’s on display here. The film is visually astonishing thanks to help from cinematographer Claudio Miranda and especially Rhythm and Hues Studios. Lee has delivered a masterpiece, and I won’t be surprised when Life of Pi sweeps at least the technical awards.
Lee should also do well as far as directing goes too, bringing the story sensibilities he’s always had from Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, and Brokeback Mountain. It also showcases the technical merits he’s learned from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hulk. Some may not have been as turned on by his last two efforts, Lust, Caution or Taking Woodstock, but he’s more than recovered with Life of Pi, delivering a sweeping epic of survival and one of the year’s best films that demands to be seen in 3D and on as big of screen as possible. There’s a reason Life of Pi is playing in IMAX 3D, because that’s where it needs to see be seen.
Photos courtesy Twentieth Century Fox