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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

LIFE OF PI and the PIE OF LIFE -- LIFE OF PI Movie Review


When I first saw the trailer of Life of Pi, my first impression was it's either highly philosophical or fantasy-filled.  I just can't help but think that way because of the elaborate production design and musical score.  But after seeing it at its Philippine premiere by 20th Century Fox last January 6 at SM Megamall, I just realized that it's more than what I thought.

Based upon the best selling book by Yann Martel, LIFE OF PI tells the story of a young man's incredible survival at sea against impossible odds.  The protagonist, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who explored the issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.  A remarkable breakthrough in 3D epic adventure directed by Ang Lee, LIFE OF PI is an emotionally captivating experience that will inspire, touch and transport audiences to a place of discovery that they will never forget.

At first, although I got curious about the movie, I somehow put my expectations at the minimum, I didn't expect too much about LIFE OF PI.  In fact, I thought I'll get bored.  But Ang Lee proved me wrong!

LIFE OF PI is a highly entertaining movie.  Well, as a wildlife enthusiast, I already got hooked with the display and portrayal of animals at the very start of the film  And the moment I learned that Pi and his family own a zoo, and then I thought what else can go wrong!  :)  Anyway, for me, there are three reasons why it's really an entertaining movie.

First, LIFE OF PI is intelligently humorous!  The writer was able to make fun of situations and characters but they are derived from what's happening in real life: bullying, making fun on names, being young and stupid, questioning religion etc.  Behind every laughter is a thought provoking message.  So at the end of each laugh, one may stop, smile, agree and think aloud, "Oh yeah, that's right!"

Second LIFE OF PI is visually stunning!  Art Direction, Cinematography and Editing worked well together to create a visual nirvana!  It's magical yet realistic!  Almost every scene at the sea is an artwork in motion.  I was particularly mesmerized with the jelly fish - whale scene!  It was really captivating!

Thirdly, the story of Pi is a journey worth following.  Looking at the synopsis, you may wonder how a young man on a boat, with a tiger, at the middle of the Pacific Ocean can be an exciting journey?  But that's how wonderful the story / screenplay is.  The writer was able to create the world bigger than the boat floating on the sea.  Pi's mind is a sea of stories, a well of wisdom.

But more than being an entertaining movie,  LIFE OF PI is a literary masterpiece because of the life's lessons we can get from the story.  I myself was able to relate to most scenes, to most characters to most reflections.  It's a movie that can guide us how to live well and be happy.  The line (and the lesson) that really caught me is this: "All of life is an act of letting go, but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye."  Actually, this has been my philosophy but this line just sealed what I believed in for years and which I will continue as long as I live.

There are many times in the movie that I wished Pi to push the tiger to the sea and let him drown.  But Richard Parker, the tiger, and Pi is a symbolism that I realized and embraced towards the end.  I won't say what it is, it's up to you to discover.  :)  But it will definitely make you nod your head.  

I would like to believe that Pi is really a strong swimmer, which was somehow explained in the movie (he had  swimming lessons).  Why?  I really want to be convinced because if not, it's really hard for me to believe how he can swim and survive at the rough seas (in the Marianas trench area!) during a heavy storm.  

Ultimately, Pi's journey is both physical and spiritual that led him to learn the meaning of life.  And this made me realize, that watching LIFE OF PI can make someone learn more about the PIE OF LIFE.  

From a scale of 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving LIFE OF PI a magical 9!  Witness this cinematic experience starting January 9 at theaters near you! :)

P.S. Before I end this, Manila has a cameo role in the movie!  Catch it and let me know if you got it!  :)

That has been the TaDi way!  
Have a great movie day!  :)

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