Thursday, January 24, 2013

book/movie review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is the incredible story of a 16-yr old boy that becomes stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger.  That is a tagline meant to pique your curiosity and maybe even stoke your incredulity.   The story is much more than that tagline offers and if you're willing to look past the ridiculous notion of a boy and a tiger in a lifeboat you'll see a wonderful story told in a wonderful way.  I'll be the first to admit that I was initially turned off when I saw the book in the bookstore.  I'm a fan of fiction but it seemed beyond silly and I didn't even read the full blurb or any reviews.   A little later on, the title showed up on a list of recommended reads based on previous books I enjoyed.  I decided to read up on it a bit more and was more intrigued this time around when I read " I have a story that will make you believe in God."  This story was very imaginative and managed to keep me as a reader both entertained and inspired.  

When I saw that they were adapting the book to film, I was wary at first.  The commercial seemed cartoonish with the special effects and I was concerned that they'd leave something important out or twist the story in some way.  I'm so pleased to say that this is a rare film that is better than the book.  It did more than stay true to the story.  The director Ang Lee took scenes that were effective in my mind's eye and transformed them into visionary masterpieces beyond my imagination.  I felt swept off of my feet during some of the scenes.  And having watched the film both in the regular theater and in 3D, I completely recommend seeing it in 3D.  Unlike action films that I actually find distracting when objects are flying out of the screen at me, the 3D for this film was just one more outstanding vehicle for showing off the visually stunning scenes.

Author Yann Martel said in one interview, “The theme of this novel can be summarized in three lines. Life is a story. You can choose your story. And a story with an imaginative overlay is the better story.”  This novel, and the movie are a better story.  I haven't seen all of the Oscar nominees for this year's Best Picture but I can say that this deserves to be among them.


  1. I'm inspired to check this out now by your masterfully written review! :-)

  2. Thank you for loaning me the book (I LOVED the story). And now thank you again for inspiring me to see the movie.