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Life of Pi Review
By Darrin Jones / November 22

Ingredients: If you liked the soul of Castaway, the compelling story of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the surreal cinematography of Vanilla Sky, then you will love this movie.

I can’t believe I almost missed it! For anyone out of the loop, Life of Pi -- which was scheduled for a December release -- was instead moved up to this week to take advantage of the holiday weekend. It’s yet uncertain if this release date juggling will help or hurt the movie’s reception but I personally hope that connoisseurs of fine films will jump at the chance to experience Life of Pi early. For anyone not familiar with the book the film is adapted from -- like I was -- Life of Pi is the story of Pi Patel (as played by Irrfan Khan) and his strange tale of survival after being shipwrecked at sea. Through Pi’s recounting of the event, the film navigates through his young impressional years leading up to the tragedy that changed his life forever. Young Pi (Suraj Sharma) is the only survivor of a sunken ship and trapped on a lifeboat with a vicious tiger which becomes his greatest adversary and his only company. Through the whole ordeal, Pi experiences great moments of physical suffering and spiritual triumphs all coming to ahead with the telling of his fantastical journey. 

To say that Life of Pi is an experience is an understatement. If I wasn't the dignified professional I so am I’d probably just repeat the words “Recommend it” over and over until the space was filled. But instead, let me dive a little deeper into why the film is so damn good; besides the seamlessly done CGI tiger.

Director Ang Lee does a tremendous job of letting the film’s powerful visuals dictate the emotions of the scenes and give meaning for the audience. With an incredibly simple plot, Life of Pi delivers sublime depth and a captivating story with an interesting message. The film embraces the character-driven storyline, expressing it in a location that is both universally huge yet very small: a boat on the ocean. It all comes together as a perfect balance for both the head and the heart.

Irrfan Khan and Suraj Sharma were brilliant in their depictions of Pi, both in his early and later years. Sharma’s dedication to the role is very effective in bringing the audience into his desperation and humility towards what little he has left. It becomes incredibly compelling and immersive. On the other hand, Khan does a great job illustrating how the event has made him the man he is now and what meaning it has brought to his life. His slow, thoughtful delivery gives the audience some much needed time to take in the film as a whole and gives it some room to breath. An even better combination could not be found.

For anyone that wants to see a sensational spectacle, experience a rich story, or is just trying to stay awake after the tryptophan kicks in, I strongly recommend Life of Pi. It’s a great highbrow concept that won’t leave you a drift at sea. And it won’t sink your holiday. And Tony the Tiger thinks it’s great. That's all I got. Go see it already!

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