I have no idea what percentage of what I experienced in LIFE OF PI was real vs. computer generated, but in the hands of Director Ang Lee, every scene is so astonishing, its origin is inconsequential.
Pi Patel is the son of an Indian Zookeeper, whose father decides to move the family, along with a huge menagerie of exotic animals, to Canada aboard a gigantic Japanese freighter.
Early scenes establish Pi as he grows up in Pondicherry, India and you truly grow to care about the characters before they board the boat.
After a disastrous storm and shipwreck at sea, Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat with a huge Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
The rest of the movie details Pi's quest for survival and many days at sea.
EVERY scene is so beautifully photographed, designed and detailed, Life of Pi ranks as one of the most astonishing films to look at that I've ever seen. It's more of a piece of art than a film.
A framing structure to the film in which Pi tells his story to a writer searching for a subject of his next novel could have been clumsy, but Lee weaves it in and out perfectly and Iffran Khan is very good as the adult Pi.
First-time actor Suraj Sharma is excellent as teenage Pi and carries the film without a false note, not an easy task when you are the only person in the scene for more than half the movie.
I resisted Life of Pi, thinking it was going to be boring, preachy or predictable...it's none of those things.
The shipwreck scene is fantastic and truly jaw dropping, as are some of the moments at sea. I have read that most of the scenes of the tiger at sea are 100% CGI and its truly amazing what these computer artists can do.
Some may find deep meaning in the closing moments and additional layers to Pi's story and the way in which he spins it. I took it as a straight adventure story and even on that basic level, it's truly amazing.
Unbelievable to look at, moving in it's loud and quiet moments, this is a great film. A