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He Said, She Said Review Site
Life of Pi

Life of Pi

What She said:


I admit it.  I made a pretty big mistake when I opted to rent this movie in standard definition rather than HD literally just to save a buck.  Life of Pi was meant to be watched in HD, as the beauty and grandeur of the story is captured through its cinematography.  But that’s ok, standard definition was probably good enough for me to get the point, and I was simply happy to see this film, which I had been anticipating for weeks.

Here’s a bit of background about the story: It’s sort of a play-by-play about a teenage boy who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger.  I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t tell you how he got there, but just know that he’s stuck with the beast for a pretty long time—we’re talking weeks and weeks.  Through the journey, Pi, as the boy is named, must learn to live side-by-side with the tiger, Richard Parker (yes, that’s the tiger’s actual name).  The two seem to come to an understanding, although there are many hairy moments. 

The film tells a pretty out-there story, one that’s also ripe with drama, while also infusing a certain degree of comedy.  Director Ang Lee does a good job of developing the movie in a way that is captivating.  The movie uses several film devices to propel itself forward, successfully keeping it from getting boring.  These include an interview-style narrative, a narrative journal, a series of dramatic climaxes, and a beautiful musical score.  These all come together to help tell the story. 

Life of Pi

I would say my only complaint is that some of the special effects were not so great.  It could have been the rendering to my television, since I know this was originally released in 3D.  However, there were times, especially as Richard Parker interacted with the water, where things did not look very smooth.  I understand that water is very difficult to bring to life digitally on screen, though, so I’m somewhat forgiving.  I’m not sure if any of the scenes with Richard Parker were actually filmed using a real cat.  I think most of the animals in this film were CGI, which I’d say is an overall disappointment.  I much prefer actual animal actors doing the job.  But oh well, it’s the age that we live in now.  

I hesitate to call this a family film because there are some pretty intense moments, but I would say it’s probably appropriate for children over the age of 13.  You have to hang in there with the story, no matter your doubts, because the movie will bring you some clarity in its final act.  Overall, I really liked this film, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a interesting drama/adventure.

Thumbs up.

Life of Pi


What he said:


Pi’s family is moving to Canada from India. They are making this life-changing journey via boat. Unfortunately, they run into a storm and Mother Nature teaches them a lesson they won’t soon forget. If you think that’s bad, wait until you see what happens to Pi next. He ends up in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a lifeboat…with a tiger. Talk about a bad day.

Pi is able to salvage some canned goods, water, and some other supplies from the wreckage. He is also able to catch fish. So aside from the man-eating tiger he’s stuck with, he’s able to sustain himself fairly comfortably (considering the circumstances).

The situation isn’t always as fortunate though. Supplies eventually begin to diminish, they’re hit with another storm or two, and Pi still has to deal with Richard Parker (that’s the tiger’s name). The two have to find a way to work together or they will die at sea. As they say on LOST, “Live together, die alone.”

Life of Pi

I didn’t know what to think of Life of Pi when I first saw the trailer for it. The movie is very effects heavy. Many movies that come out today are, so I tend to be a little cautious when a movie is so in your face visually. I never read the book, so I had no idea what it was about. But once I heard more about the plot and saw that it got good reviews, I was interested. There are so many movies today that try to throw as many visuals in your face as possible, but often do that at the expense of the story.

Life of Pi did not. It had a grand and larger than life story that kept me interested throughout. It had laughs, adventure, and even some pretty sad moments. It was a solid movie from top-to-bottom. It might seem unrealistic, and it is, but you have to keep in mind this movie is a fantasy, not a biopic. Some might be a little thrown off given that it takes place in a real world setting (I think I was the first few times I saw the trailer), but Pi is definitely fantasy. It is very similar to Big Fish or Pan’s Labyrinth in that sense. It also reminded me of The Wizard of Oz in some other ways. It’s a very magical tale despite the fact it takes place in the real world.

I do agree with the She that at times some of the CGI was weak and distracting, but overall it was a visual pleasing movie. We definitely should have paid the etra buck to see it in HD. I think we didn’t out of protest, because it’s annoying they actually charge more money to see something in HD. I thought they animals looks quite good, but the scenery is what threw me off a few times. CGI environments are simply not convincing often enough, so I am not sure why movies keep using them.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on March 20, 2013.