There are some films that just sound brilliant from the very moment you hear what they’re about – Life of Pi is most certainly one of them. A movie with the central premise of an Indian kid trapped on a small boat with a tiger is a movie that’s just begging to be watched.
It’s got to be one of the most absurd things ever conceived, and that’s what makes it so great. Not a single person on the planet has ever thought the words; “A kid stuck on a boat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean? How boring.” Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the actual film – which people seem to find incredibly boring.
You are probably spiralling out of control right now. “How could anyone think that a tiger and a kid on a god damn boat is boring?!” you scream, “HOW?!” Well if you’d calm down, maybe some light can be shed on the situation.
The film follows the Life of Pi (anybody? wow, tough crowd) – a young boy living in India who is having a crisis of faith. As he grows up, his parents decide it is time to move away from India, so they pack up their gear and jump on a boat with like 50 animals. Oh, did we not mention they owned a zoo? Well… they do. Inevitably, the boat sinks, leaving Pi (Suraj Sharma) stuck on a life boat with a tiger. That’s how the hell this crazy situation came to be (because you were definitely wondering.)
First thing to say has to be just how stunning the film is. It’s absolutely gorgeous, from start to finish. It does have the occasional bout of bad CGI (there is a CGI elephant in the opening credits that looks like it was animated in the late 90’s) but overall, it’s basically visual effects porn. It looks like it would be absolutely amazing in 3D – although it’s recommended that you simply watch it in 2D, so money-hungry executives will just stop making 3D films forever.
The acting was superb, Suraj Sharma carried the film brilliantly – it’s actually quite surprising that he wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar (considering the film was nominated for just about everything else.) He was a little over-the-top at times, but nothing to make the performance any less impressive.
The story is also incredible, and not even just the tiger on a boat aspect. It’s exploration of faith and religion is wonderful, and the story of Pi‘s life as a whole is an extremely interesting one. To really enjoy the film though, you’re going to need to have a little suspension of disbelief.
Now, onto that ‘boring’ claim you’ve been hearing so much about. Yes, at times the film can be a little slow – but overall it’s not actually that bad. That being said, the first 30 minutes (the pre-tiger section) and the last 20 (the post-tiger section) can be a little sluggish, but not painfully so. Most of the film was in fact the very opposite of boring, but that might be down to that fact that the ocean is a bloody scary place.
Overall, the film is absolutely fantastic. It’s really interesting through and through, despite moments throughout that can feel slow or drawn out. It’s unbelievably beautiful, and will undoubtedly leave you gobsmacked until the end. Plus, it’s about a friggin’ kid stuck on a boat with a tiger! Come on!!
Verdict: Like thinking you’ve run out of Nutella, only to find a fresh new jar in the fridge (8/10)
My face when watching: