Life of Pi is based on a 2001 novel of the same name, often thought un-filmable. Taiwanese Director Ang Lee has somehow managed to bring to life an incredibly visceral story and create the most beautiful film I’ve seen all year. The astonishing story makes for a wonderful focus which is given a spectacularly beautiful backdrop, filmed in 3D. For only the second time since the 3D ‘revolution’, (see Hugo 2011) the extra dimension adds to rather than detracts from the story and helps to create a sumptuous world full of incredible sights, great laughs and awful sadness.
A middle aged Indian man now living in Canada is recounting a fantastical story to a Canadian man who is trying to write a book. The Indian, Pi, tells the writer about his childhood in French India where his father owned a zoo. Pi speaks of his deep and profound religious beliefs and discloses that he has found solace in several major religions, something that he was chastised for by his atheist father. When Pi was around sixteen his family made the decision to emigrate to Canada, sell the zoo’s animals and start afresh. On the voyage through the Indian Ocean their ship was struck by a huge storm from which only four survive. Pi is soon left almost alone with just a Bengal Tiger called Richard Parker for company, adrift on a vast but beautiful Ocean.