Life of Pi

Out Now On-Demand

Believe the unbelievable.

Winner of four Academy Awards, Ang Lee (who picked up a directing Oscar for his efforts) adapts Yann Martel's best-selling novel, the fantastical journey of a young boy adrift in the Pacific Ocean after a shipwreck. On a lifeboat he is accompanied by a hyena, zebra, orangutan and 450-pound tiger.

Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) is the precocious, spiritually-inclined son of a zookeeper from Pondicherry, India. On route to a new life in Canada with his family and a selection of zoo animals, the freighter they hitch a ride on sinks. Pi finds himself fighting for survival on a 26-foot lifeboat along with his beastly companions.

High-profile filmmakers have been attached to the project since 2003 - M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón and Jean-Pierre Jeunet versions all fell through.

Trailers

Awards

Best Director, Cinematography, Original Score and Visual Effects at the 2013 Academy Awards. Best Score, Golden Globes 2013. Best Cinematography, BAFTA Awards 2013.

Directed by

Written by

Adventure, Drama

127mins

Rating: PG some scenes may disturb

USA

Official Site

A sumptuous visual delight, Ang Lee’s take on the bestselling novel Life of Pi mounts a strong case for the true potential of 3D as something more than a gimmick or additional charge on one’s ticket price. Magically surreal and at times breathtaking, Life of Pi vividly brings to life its tale of shipwreck survivor Piscine "Pi" Patel to such a spectacular extent that when his vessel goes down – yes, in eye-poppingly amazing fashion – we’ve already been treated to plenty of bold, bright bedazzlement of the senses.

Lee’s approach does more than just provide something pretty to look at though, going hand-in-hand with the film’s own larger-than-life tale and conveying in images the sorts of embellishments that are part of storytelling. Bringing a sense of wonderment to the audience is also a deft solution to adapting the novel’s messages about faith and spirituality, avoiding the schmaltzy heavy-handed approach that could so easily have dragged Life of Pi itself down to the ocean floor.

Almost masked by the degree of spectacle is Suraj Sharma’s performace as Pi. He’s required to carry the film and for the vast majority of its running time has no other actors to interact with. Pi’s companion throughout his time adrift - the tiger Richard Parker - is the closest to a co-star that Sharma gets, unless you count Lee’s visual aesthetic. Parker’s a digital creation so believable you’ll never question he’s a living, breathing creature, another element of Life of Pi you shouldn’t hesitate to buy into wholeheartedly.

AV Club (USA)

press

It's more compelling to focus on Lee's visceral cinematic experience than on the larger, fuzzier messages.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

A miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery.

Empire (UK)

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Beautiful, wise and, at times, miraculous.

Guardian (UK)

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Hollywood has been waiting for this movie.

Hollywood Reporter

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A gorgeous and accomplished rendering of the massive best-seller.

Little White Lies (UK)

press

There's less than meets the eye.

Los Angeles Times

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Lee's most provocative work... it's as if the filmmaker has found the philosopher's stone.

New York Times

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It may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes - or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all.

Total Film (UK)

press

Radiates spirituality. But it's also a simple, thrilling and gently uplifting tale of a boy, a boat and a tiger.
wobbit

wobbit

user


Delightful

Great story and movie

Glen3

Glen

user


wow m

you must never miss this film because its everything you would like to see in a movie and more actin love and the couler is out of this world the story is wicked please all go plus on the big screen wqw


Superb!

I haven't read the book, but this movie will make you think even long after you've seen it. This movie is so effective in presenting two ways of understanding what really happened to Pi - as it mesmerisingly and effectively masked the ugly and harsh reality of what actually happened.


Seen Them All

A wonderful piece of cinematography, beautifully rendered, vibrant and alluring. There is not that much of a story, but there doesn't need to be with this movie. It is a visual masterpiece made especially for you to just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Deb

Deb

user


Best 3D movie ever

Went to this wondering how the book would translate to the screen. I still haven't made my mind up but oddly I found the island less credible in my head/the book. I guess when a film maker makes a visual it becomes more credible. So .... In this way it became something I thought less about on film. I didn't think it was a story that made you believe in god, rather that it was a tale that explained why some people do. Theres a big difference.


Poor

I thought was disappointing. The special effects were very bad (all the animals were unbelievable), and the general aesthetic frankly ugly - typified by the opening title sequence. I'm in the minority it would seem - but I thought it was long and not engaging. There were moments that were fantastical and hinted and something stronger, but "message" ended up being patronising. Pass.


Great story, great movie

This is a film about a boy in India called Pi. It is told is flashback, while the adult Pi is telling the story of his journey. His family own a Zoo and decide to move to Canada on a ship. The ship sinks and Pi end up on a lifeboat with a bengal Tiger. The journey he takes is quite amazing. The visuals are also great to watch. This film is a great journey. With amazing visuals and a inspirational story. I give it 4 stars. We will hear about this film come Oscar time.


Delicious Pi

I took my 7 year old, Ash, to see Ang Lee's new movie, 'Life of Pi' in 3D. He was enthralled throughout the 127-minute duration... as was I.

Based on Yann Martel's magical novel, it's a tale of faith and the power of human storytelling as a means of making sense of the chaos about us. In doing so it utilises 3D technology to create depth and dimension in a series of hauntingly beautiful images. At times it was like wandering through an art gallery come to life. Ang Lee's direction and Claudio Miranda's cinematography make full use of 3D as a medium and the films early images of India are so vibrant and colourful - you can almost smell the spices...

Once at sea, the imagery takes on breath-taking beauty. In one shot young Pi's lifeboat is seen mid-frame bobbing beneath the stars on a sea filled with reflected stars. The CGI (largely courtesy of Rhythm and Hues Studios) is for the most part stunning. The Bengal tiger, Richard Parker (named after a clerical error), is a wondrous creation to behold. It breathes. It lives. It terrifies. It beats the apes of 'Rise of The Planet of The Apes' for best CGI creatures - paws down.

In his first acting role, Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel is superb. Real, raw and reminiscent of Dev Patel's breakout role in Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire.' Sharma, and the tiger he shares a lifeboat with for the majority of the movie, dominate much as Tom Hanks and Wilson the volleyball in 'Castaway.' But when they appear, the supporting cast are perfectly pitched; from Gerard Depardieu's fleeting appearance as a mean spirited ships-cook, to Irrfan Khan as the adult Pi narrating his tale.

It's warm, big-hearted, life-affirming tale of faith against all the odds and the power of storytelling that is a visual treat in 3D - from the opening credits in which animals in an Indian zoo wander across and through the frame, to the spectacular shipwreck, stunning bioluminescent jellyfish, a

leaping whale and a gorgeous liquid dream sequence.

It ain't all nice and twee either - bigger animals eat little animals, nature is red in tooth and claw, and only the fittest and most able to adapt to their environment survive - especially when that environment turns out to be a tiny lifeboat in the midst of a vast ocean. This is no Disneyfied cartoon in which cute creatures cuddle and grin. The tiger roars, rips and even at one point pisses in young Pi's face. When the food supplies on his little lifeboat run low, young Pi comments that whilst he can eat biscuits: "God made tigers carnivorous, so I must learn to catch fish. If I don't, I'm afraid his last meal will be a skinny vegetarian boy..."

Whether you're religious or not this is a tale of spirituality that asks big questions whilst focusing on the basics of survival - food, water, shelter - life and death. But what does it all mean? Why do we suffer? Is there a point to it all?

The point of course is what we make it. The story we tell. In bumper sticker terms: "It's about the journey not the destination"... "The meaning of life is the meaning we give it"... As a youngster, Pi, born a Hindu, also embraces Christianity and Islam - seeing no contradiction in following all three in his search for meaning as he learns that, as the adult Pi says: "All of life is an act of letting go."

There's a lot going on in 'Life of Pi' - but at the end of the day it is what you make it. And that's the point of any good story. For my 7 year-old it was the enthralling adventure of a young boy at sea in a lifeboat with a ferocious tiger for company. For me it was a tale about life, loss, suffering and the human need to create meaning amidst the chaos.

I didn't find 'Life of Pi' a life changing experience, but it was a magical tale magically told.

Who knows what it will be for you... ?