Film Review: Life of Pi
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4/5 There are some books that are so universally loved, original and unexpected that the purist reaction is that they can never be made into films. Life of Pi is one of those books. How can a story that is so heavily led by spirituality make the leap from page, where we dream up its intense colours (and its hidden meanings) ourselves, to screen – where, largely, we are directed in what to see? Whether it really is “the book that can’t be made into a film” is not the only question that Life of Pi presents us with. We already expect it to be visually spectacular. A zoo in French India, an apocalyptic storm, a seemingly limitless Pacific Ocean – if it wasn’t it would have immediately failed. But will it be more than this? And will it be the film that finally convinces us of the merits of 3D? Life of Pi tells the story of Piscine Molitor Patel – a zookeeper’s son (named after a Parisian swimming pool) from Pondicherry who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat after the cargo ship taking his family to a new life in Canada ditches in the Mariana Trench. His surviving companions are a ravenous hyena, Orange Juice the orang-utan, a zebra with a broken leg - and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi’s previous life in India, his 277 days at sea and his ultimate story of survival are recounted to a writer in Canada in the present day.
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