'Life of Pi'
(Suraj Sharma, Irfan Khan, Tabu, Rafe Spall, Gérard Depardieu, et al / PG / 125 mins)
Overview: Yann Martel's ponderous adventure novel gets the big-screen treatment with this Fox 2000 adaptation helmed by director Ang Lee. The coming-of-age story surrounds the son of a zookeeper who survives a shipwreck by stowing away on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger by the name of Richard Parker.
Verdict: If there is a wrong note or a misstep in this film, I certainly did not notice it. The script kept true to the book, while the special effects and cinematography brought this incredible story to life with stunning beauty, which is no small feat given the nature of the story.
Fantastical elements run seamlessly along side the real, but it is the creation of the tiger is perhaps one of the greatest achievements in film to date. It is impossible to tell when the tiger on screen is an actual tiger or a digitally-created image. Given the artistic talents of the special effects team, this movie could have felt like one long showcase of digital images, but there is somehow a beautiful simplicity to the film.
Everything serves to tell the story. The result is a completely satisfying movie experience. I would recommend seeing this one on the big screen in order to fully immerse yourself in the wonder of the world created by Ang Lee.