Life Of Pi

Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s “unfilmable” book is a hypnotic rumination on the nature of religion as a source of strength and inspiration but also exploring faith’s common tendency toward allegory as the means to an end. We meet a very spiritual college professor named Pi whose past comes alive in a series of flashbacks as he tells his story to a novelist eager to write his next book. Pi was once shipwrecked and lost at sea for 227 days, already a sufficiently fascinating tale, but to make the ordeal even more extraordinary, he had to share his predicament with a fully grown Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Their surprising relationship is masterfully dramatized in a series of indelible images, their odyssey recounted with an unending sense of wonder and a contagious love for the beauty of nature.

Pi was shot on a combination of state-of-the-art digital 3D cameras, and the only downside I noticed was a slight, occasional video streaking in fast live-action. The image is astonishingly pure and crisp, with awe-inspiring colors. The illusion of 3D is exploited in original ways, sometimes wowing us with bold artistic flourishes but more often putting us right there alongside Pi on his journey, to the point that some viewers might actually feel a twinge of seasickness. Although no mention is made on the package, the aspect ratio briefly shifts from the standard 1.85:1 to both 2.35:1 and 1.33:1 for some shots in act two, but never is the change jarring. DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack lends priceless realism as well, establishing the tone and myriad noises of various environments with a strong sense of off-camera activity. A thunderstorm at sea quickly turns into something much more fearsome, with booming bass and outstanding directionality. Mychael Danna’s Academy Award–winning musical score also transports the listener as it fills the speakers.

Kudos to Fox not only for making the extras on disc one—the Blu-ray 3D—available in both 3D and 2D, but for not repeating any of them as we switch to disc two, the 2D Blu-ray. We’re given visual effects progression reels, five deleted scenes, a study of the Oscar-copping CGI, an intro to the real and virtual Richard Parker, extensive storyboards, and an in- depth hour-long documentary. And so we can access the movie anytime, anywhere, iTunes and UltraViolet Digital Copies are included, plus a DVD.

Blu-Ray 3D
Studio: Fox, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Length: 127 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Tandon

Mark Fleischmann's picture
It's fun to read background information about this movie. It was an intimidating project: Three directors signed on, then backed off before Ang Lee finally took the reins. The at-sea scenes were filmed in the world's largest wave tank which was constructed especially for Pi.
notabadname's picture

This film generated more table conversation after viewing then any movie I have seen in a long time. Truly thought provoking and imaginative film and a great achievement getting this story on film. Add to that, the 3D, as well as cinematography, is absolutely mesmerizing, another reference film to own.

Boho Pet's picture

Mychael Danna’s Academy Award–winning musical make this movie a milestone. After Avatar this movie is a make itself a benchmark to the movie maker. Love this movie a lots.

Angela Young's picture

I really love this film, I watched it in the cinema for twice.
The digital photograph hi-technology, the story and the inside story.
Each part are perfect.
As one Chinese person, to be honesty, I have to say, Not so many Chinese Movie are so good, But Life of Pi, Absolutely it is the best one in China movie market in my opinion.
That's why Ang li got the award from Hollywood.

Again, I really love it very much.