Life of Pi…

life of pi movie

Last wednesday I was in movie premier, and was blown away. I couldn’t be more happy to have seen the movie and definitely gonna get both, the book and DVD of it. The last time I was so fascinated by a movie it was watching Avatar. Avatar is absolutely incredible, stunning visually movie with a story that is heartbreaking and inspiring. Now Hollywood did it again, they created something as amazing as I didn’t think was possible to repeat after Avatar.

Life of Pi

It is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores 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.

The novel was rejected by at least five London publishing houses before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published it in September 2001. The UK edition won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction the following year. The novel won the 2003 Boeke Prize, a South African novel award. In 2004, it won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Best Adult Fiction for years 2001–2003.

Y. Martel revealed his inspiration for his novel,

“I was sort of looking for a story, not only with a small ‘s’ but sort of with a capital ‘S’ – something that would direct my life.”

He spoke of being lonely and needing direction in his life. The novel became that direction and purpose for his life.

In 2012 it was adapted into a theatrical feature film directed by Ang Lee with a screenplay by David Magee. After 3,000 men auditioned for the film’s lead, Lee chose to cast Suraj Sharma, a 17-year-old student and an acting newcomer. Upon receiving the role, Sharma underwent extensive training in ocean survival as well as in yoga and meditation practices to prepare for the part. Two months after Sharma was cast, it was announced that Gerard Depardieu would play the role of the Chef, Irrfan Khan would play the adult Pi, and Adil Hussain would play Pi’s father, while Bollywood star Tabu was in talks to play the role of Pi’s mother.

It was announced that Tobey Maguire would be joining the film in the role originally referred to as “a reporter.” However, later it was announced that Lee had cut Tobey Maguire from the film. Lee justified the cut by stating that he did it “to be consistent with the other casting choices made for the film, I decided to go with an entirely international cast.” Lee described Maguire’s presence as “too jarringly recognizable,” reshooting the scenes with Rafe Spall in the role later referred to as the Writer.

Principal photography for the film was done in  Pondicherry, India. The production also moved to other parts of India as well as director Ang Lee’s home country, Taiwan. The crew filmed in Taiwan for five and a half months in Taichung and Kenting National Park, located in Pingtung County where Lee was born. In Taiwan, the ocean scenes of the film were shot at a giant wave tank built by the crew in the abandoned Taichung Shui-nan Airport. The tank is known as the world’s largest self-generating wave tank, with a capacity of 1.7 million gallons. After photography was completed in Taiwan, production moved back to India and concluded in Montreal, Canada.

The lead visual effects company for Life of Pi is Rhythm & Hues Studios (R&H). 3D effects for the film were created by a team of artists from all of the R&H divisions. The special thing about Life Of Pi is that it was the first time they did something called remote rendering, where they engaged their cloud infrastructure in Taiwan called CAVE (Cloud Animation and Visual Effects). 

When Lee started working with the R&H he said ” I look forward to making art with you.”  And what an amazing art they created!

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Life of Pi 4 out of 4 stars, referring to it as

“A miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery” as well as “one of the best films of the year.”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone 

” You don’t just watch this movie, you live it.” 

James Cameron

“Life of Pi breaks the paradigm that 3-D has to be some big, action fantasy spectacle, superhero movie. The movie is visually amazing, inventive, and it works on you in ways you’re not really aware of. It takes you on a journey, and unless you’ve read the book — which I hadn’t — you have no idea where that journey is going. It does what good 3-D is supposed to do, which is, it allows you to forget you’re watching a 3-D movie.”

This movie is truly a visual masterpiece and inspiring story. Oh and I loved Richard Parker, those animals are so fascinating and graceful. What makes the movie even more amazing, is the ending, that is unexpected, makes you doubt and wonder and lets you choose yourself, the story you want to believe. I haven’t read the book, so I went through this journey with no awareness how it will end. I will enjoy the book that much more now, because the images described in it will be very clear in my head, as all the stunning images were done so perfectly in the movie. It is rare that a movie version goes bigger and richer than once imagination can, but in Life of Pi it did just that and beyond…

So don’t miss out on a not so often opportunity to see something, I truly believe, legendary, and if you haven’t seen Avatar yet, watch it too, you’ll have the most exciting experience and probably very exciting dreams afterwards…=)

And here’s some videos…enjoy!=)