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Life of Pi

Life of Pi: Beautifully Told Story About Self-Discovery, Strength & Love

  • Adil HussainGerard Depardieu...
  • Action & AdventureDrama
  • Ang Lee
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Life of Pi: Beautifully Told Story About Self-Discovery, Strength & Love
Written by French-Canadian author Yann Martel, Life of Pi has always been considered impossible to adapt to film; the material didn’t really lend itself to any traditional cinematic narrative structure. 

But under the supreme direction and a clear vision of Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, the unbelievable story of Life of Pi finally finds itself at home on the silver screen.

Life of Pi tells a story of Pi Patel –  played by three actors in different periods of the story – who recounts his entire story in flashbacks to a somewhat sceptic novelist (Spall). The tale, which he promises will prove the existence of God, starts with Pi’s adolescent years in Pondicherry, India.

Pi explains how his natural curiosity led him to believe and practice three different religions at once; Hinduism, Christianity and Islam –  a decision which initially posed a problem to his zoo-owning father (Hussain) who holds science and reason over religion.

When Pi is a teenager, the family hits financial problems and decide to sell the zoo and relocate both the family and the animals to Canada. On their voyage, they hit a dreadful storm which ultimately sinks the ship, leaving Pi alone and stranded on a lifeboat with limited supplies and a Bengal tiger named ‘Richard Parker’.

Ang Lee, together with screenwriter David Magee – whose script is agile and drenched in detail –  manage to make this unbelievable story, believable.  The magical ride is so strikingly beautiful that it’s sometimes just too much to bare. From the vast, reflective ocean and the star-studded skies to the neon-bright jellyfish, the stunning visuals are aplenty.  Furthermore, the 3D effects enhance the scenery, taking it from being playful to downright mesmerising.

The entire story plays out as a metaphor for spiritual discovery and Sharma’s incredible performance as a young Pi definitely takes you there.  As a newcomer, who had no previous experience in front of the camera, Sharma does an amazing job. As the adult version of Pi, Khan’s storytelling skills are commendable and will surely evoke a few tears.   


Life of Pi is truly a memorable experience that will linger with you long after the credits roll.  The power of storytelling has never been this good and this could easily be one of the most impressive visual effect films ever made.  

Like This? Try

Into the Wild (2007), Cast Away (2000), Lord of the Flies (1990).

360 Tip

Newcomer Suraj Sharma, who plays the main character Pi, never intended to audition, but was chosen from 3,000 hopefuls after accompanying his brother to the casting call.

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