Saturday, 15 December 2012

Life Of Pi (film)

I remember particularly enjoying the 2001 novel Life Of Pi by Yann Martel so I am really hoping that the very-soon-to-be-released film adaptation has managed to capture the spirit of the original story. It is shot in 3D which I generally dislike watching but early reviews suggest that the medium has been used to enhance the cinema experience and not just as a gimmick.

The American-made adaptation is directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain) with a screenplay by David Magee (Finding Neverland). It took Fox 2000 Pictures several years to appoint and keep a director and once Ang Lee was signed up, they were unhappy at his projected $70 million budget but eventually the project went ahead. Over 3000 men were auditioned for the starring role of Pi before Lee settled on 17 year old student Suraj Sharma. Lee's international cast also includes Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain and Rafe Spall.

Piscine Molitor Patel, nicknamed Pi, lives at his family's zoo in Pondicherry, India. He is raised a Hindu but as a teenager also tries to follow Christianity and Islam as well, attempting to understand God and life through the teaching of each until he comes to the conclusion that they all have something to offer. Pi's life is totally changed when his father decides to sell the zoo and uproot the family to Canada. They all board a Japanese ship, including the animals which are to be sold at their destination, but the ship is lost in a storm at sea. The only survivors are Pi, a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Soon the survivors are reduced to just Pi and Richard Parker and an uneasy truce is established between the two as they endure weeks adrift at sea.

Hailsham Pavilion, Fri 3rd May, 19:45.
Sat 4th, Wed 8th and Sun 12th May, 14:15.
Tickets £6.50 adults, £5 concessions, Sunday Special £5, Wed matinee £4.50.
Available online, by calling 01323 841414, or in person at the Box Office.

1 comment:

  1. Now, Peter Jackson, this is how you tell a journey story!
    Life Of Pi is gorgeously filmed and Suraj Sharma puts in an assured performance. Both Dave & I were captivated by the stunning cinematography - scenes gazing out into the night sky or down into the depths of the Pacific brilliantly convey Pi's isolation - and steady pacing reflects the magnitude of his solitary ordeal. The portrayal of all the animals is very cleverly done with them feeling completely natural and real throughout the film. Part f me would love to know how Lee achieved this, but the other part would rather retain the wonder of not knowing.
    Dave said that he preferred the film version to the book - an absolute first! - and I have certainly come away with a greater understanding of Martel's original novel.
    I highly recommend Life Of Pi and also the experience of watching it on as big a screen as possible! However, despite its PG rating and all the animals, Life Of Pi isn't really a children's film in the 'Disney sense'. There are great moments for younger viewers but I did notice some of the kids at our screening getting restless during the philosophical scenes.