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"The Life of Pi" Thread

Just saw it and HATED IT. Ang Lee sells out to 3D and CGI, and CGI wins - essentially this is a kind of visual melodrama, with FX shot after FX shot at the expense of story and character. I was ready to walk out by the time the glowing whale breached.

The mise-en-scene itself is incredibly unpleasant, with many shots of animals suffering and endless back-and-forth (probably 30 minutes) between Pi and the tiger. The payoff of the film is very weak and at the end you were just happy you could close your eyes for a few minutes and get some rest.

Rent "Castaway" instead.

by Anonymousreply 9003/04/2013

Wow, Op. It's been looking iffy, but I liked the book and was curious to see how the movie turned out. Did you happen to read the book?

by Anonymousreply 111/21/2012

R1 I didn't read the book but I knew the synopsis.

by Anonymousreply 211/21/2012

I was going to go but afraid it was going to be all sad. I went on wiki and read the plot and it seemed boring. So I went to SLP and got 2 hours of people yelling. I wish that would have seen Pi. At least I would have gotten some peace.

by Anonymousreply 311/21/2012

It's a childrens book.

by Anonymousreply 411/21/2012

..and not a very good one at that.

by Anonymousreply 511/21/2012

It's so unappealing to me. Who wants to see a movie about some kid trapped in a boat with a tiger on the open sea?

by Anonymousreply 611/21/2012

The reviews at Metacritic are overwhelmingly positive.

Did you eat something bad for lunch?

by Anonymousreply 711/21/2012

[quote] Who wants to see a movie about some kid trapped in a boat with a tiger on the open sea?

That's not all it's about. Plus, the CGI tiger is rather cool.

by Anonymousreply 811/21/2012

It's a cgi tiger??? It's not a real one. It looks very real.

by Anonymousreply 911/21/2012







He wasn't really on a boat with a tiger. He was on a lifeboat full of people who were forced to commit cannibalism in order to survive, and in order to cope with the experience without going insane he "remembers" that it was animals instead of people. Perfect movie for Thanksgiving weekend, eh? You'll never look at that turkey the same way!

by Anonymousreply 1011/21/2012

r6, it's an old adage in Hollywood that it's not the concept it's the execution.

A lot of one-line synopses of classic movies sound stupid, like they'd be total failures.

by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2012

LOL R7 is all uppity but he can't even post a link.


by Anonymousreply 1211/21/2012

I didn't read the synopsis that way. Is r10 pulling our turkey leg?

by Anonymousreply 1311/21/2012

[quote]I didn't read the synopsis that way.

Ummmm... then how did you read the synopsis?

Let me guess. Inadequately.

by Anonymousreply 1411/21/2012

If r10 is correct, there will be a fresh batch of traumatized little kids who will enter the thratre expecting to see an animal film.

by Anonymousreply 1511/21/2012

The movie basically sucks. And Ang Lee is my favorite director. But it just didn't work.

by Anonymousreply 1611/21/2012

They have been doing amazing things with CGI for many years.

by Anonymousreply 1711/21/2012

R14 there is no indication that the animal story is not true.

by Anonymousreply 1811/21/2012

I liked it. It was like Jungle Book meets Suddenly Last Summer. It begs to be musicalized.

by Anonymousreply 1911/21/2012

R18, true. It's a matter of faith in the impossible or belief in the norm. I enjoyed it. A bit uneven in the tone, but overall worthwhile.

by Anonymousreply 2011/21/2012

All I want to know is,does the tiger survive the movie?

by Anonymousreply 2111/22/2012

Sounds like it might have mad a good Twilight Zone episode

by Anonymousreply 2211/22/2012

I saw this shit in preview form before Prometheus. Audience members were actively yelling up to the projection booth, "turn this shit off and put the real fucking movie on."

Of course after Prometheus ended some probably wished they had seen Life of Pi.

by Anonymousreply 2311/22/2012

Saw it today. I was very moved by it, and the CGI is spectacular -- completely the servant of the story, nothing gratuitous. I'll be seeing it again in 3D.

by Anonymousreply 2411/24/2012

It is stunningly beautiful -- not perfect (the first reel and last reel don't have the same punch as the water) but gorgeous. And i cried throughout, yes i know, Mary! but fuck you, it earned those tears.

not a SPOILER... but there's a visual stretch involving images in the ocean that is incredible. But almost the whole thing is, really. DON'T BELIEVE THE NAYSAYERS THIS TIME! OR YOU'LL MISS OUT ON SOME TRUE MOVIE MAGIC.

by Anonymousreply 2511/24/2012

This was actually the first film I've seen in 3D. I always choose 2D because I've read so much criticism of 3D. And I pretty much hated the experience. I didn't really feel like it added anything, and my eyes hurt like hell when it was finished.

I thought the movie was okay. I was impressed by the CGI and the visuals, but the storyline was lacking for me. I can see it working better as a novel, what with the philosophical reflections on God and myth, which I don't think the film was able to address all that well.

Just based on what I saw in the film, I'm surprised the novel is so widely read in high schools. Rightwing Christians must not be familiar with it. What I took away: there probably is no God, but it's better to believe in fantastical stories than face the harsher reality that we are alone.

On a lighter note: I think the guy who plays Pi as a teen is cute.

by Anonymousreply 2611/24/2012

It's interesting that so many different interpretations of the book - and now the movie - have been made. Some say that that was the author's intent, but there are a few vocal critics who have blasted him for confusing any message out of a lack of talent (New Age-y inclusion by way of ineptitude). He's also been accused of plagiarizing a Brazilian novelist.

by Anonymousreply 2711/24/2012

It certainly appeared to be beautifully done but I couldn't take the animal brutality. I left when a beast was clawing at a zebra that had fallen 50 feet onto the lifeboat.

by Anonymousreply 2811/24/2012

damn, there's a major pay-off to all of that, R28, and I speak as a fellow animal lover. wish you could've stuck it out.

by Anonymousreply 2911/24/2012

i cant believe the animals were CGI. that tiger was INCREDIBLY realistic....soon they won't even need actor, if the animals look that good.

by Anonymousreply 3011/24/2012

That's actually a really fascinating thought, R30. In fact, you may have just given me an idea for my final paper in one of my grad seminars! :)

by Anonymousreply 3111/24/2012

The tiger in the commercial screams CGI.

Real tigers were used for parts of the film, which might be why you think they looked realistic.

by Anonymousreply 3211/24/2012

This looks like a film that was made solely to win Oscars. Pass for me.

by Anonymousreply 3311/24/2012

What the hell is wrong with people that they can sit ,and watch animals being torn apart and eaten? People can watch disgusting stuff done to Animals on Animal Planet ,for example,and its no big deal to them in the slightest degree. I think there are more psycho paths in our society today than any other time. Sorry but I think our society is getting really sick especially allowing little kids to watch that crap! NO I'm not a Frau,etc. I'm just a completely sane person who doesn't need to watch sick shit in order to be entertained!

by Anonymousreply 3411/24/2012

The book is better, but the film is beautiful and worth seeing.

The only thing I have to add is that the male lead, Suraj Sharma, is exquisitely perfect and luscious (those lips!), and spends most of the film in soaking wet white trousers. I spent a lot of the film distracted by the attempt to see his brief-lines and his ass; a not-altogether-unpleasant problem that I think most gay men would have.

by Anonymousreply 3511/24/2012

The scenes with animals eating animals were not graphic at all. They were filmed so as to barely show anything. The trick was to focus the camera on close shots of Pi's reaction to those events, rather than actually show them.

He's for sure a hottie, R35.

by Anonymousreply 3611/24/2012

OP, I don't base my decision whether to go see a film based on some random DL queen's plebeian tastes.

by Anonymousreply 3711/24/2012

I wish Suraj Sharma were my houseboy, as long as he is certified free of parasites and such.

by Anonymousreply 3811/25/2012

Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is a miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery. Inspired by a worldwide best-seller that many readers must have assumed was unfilmable, it is a triumph over its difficulties. It is also a moving spiritual achievement, a movie whose title could have been shortened to "life."

The story involves the 227 days that its teenage hero spends drifting across the Pacific in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. They find themselves in the same boat after an amusing and colorful prologue, which in itself could have been enlarged into an exciting family film. Then it expands into a parable of survival, acceptance and adaptation. I imagine even Yann Martel, the novel's French-Canadian author, must be delighted to see how the usual kind of Hollywood manhandling has been sidestepped by Lee's poetic idealism.

The story begins in a small family zoo in Pondichery, India, where the boy christened Piscine is raised. Piscine translates from French to English as "swimming pool," but in an India where many more speak English than French, his playmates of course nickname him "pee." Determined to put an end to this, he adopts the name "Pi," demonstrating an uncanny ability to write down that mathematical constant that begins with 3.14 and never ends. If Pi is a limitless number, that is the perfect name for a boy who seems to accept no limitations.

The zoo goes broke, and Pi's father puts his family and a few valuable animals on a ship bound for Canada. In a bruising series of falls, a zebra, an orangutan and the lion tumble into the boat with the boy, and are swept away by high seas. His family is never seen again, and the last we see of the ship is its lights disappearing into the deep — a haunting shot that reminds me of the sinking train in Bill Forsyth's "Housekeeping" (1987).

This is a hazardous situation for the boy (Suraj Sharma), because the film steadfastly refuses to sentimentalize the tiger (fancifully named "Richard Parker"). A crucial early scene at the zoo shows that wild animals are indeed wild and indeed animals, and it serves as a caution for children in the audience, who must not make the mistake of thinking this is a Disney tiger.

The heart of the film focuses on the sea journey, during which the human demonstrates that he can think with great ingenuity and the tiger shows that it can learn. I won't spoil for you how those things happen. The possibilities are surprising.

What astonishes me is how much I love the use of 3-D in "Life of Pi." I've never seen the medium better employed, not even in "Avatar," and although I continue to have doubts about it in general, Lee never uses it for surprises or sensations, but only to deepen the film's sense of places and events.

Let me try to describe one point of view. The camera is placed in the sea, looking up at the lifeboat and beyond it. The surface of the sea is like the enchanted membrane upon which it floats. There is nothing in particular to define it; it is just … there. This is not a shot of a boat floating in the ocean. It is a shot of ocean, boat and sky as one glorious place.

Still trying not to spoil: Pi and the tiger Richard Parker share the same possible places in and near the boat. Although this point is not specifically made, Pi's ability to expand the use of space in the boat and nearby helps reinforce the tiger's respect for him. The tiger is accustomed to believing it can rule all space near him, and the human requires the animal to rethink that assumption.

Most of the footage of the tiger is of course CGI, although I learn that four real tigers are seen in some shots. The young actor Suraj Sharma contributes a remarkable performance, shot largely in sequence as his skin color deepens, his weight falls and deepness and wisdom grow in his eyes.


by Anonymousreply 3911/25/2012

The writer W.G. Sebold once wrote, "Men and animals regard each other across a gulf of mutual incomprehension." This is the case here, but during the course of 227 days, they come to a form of recognition. The tiger, in particular, becomes aware that he sees the boy not merely as victim or prey, or even as master, but as another being.

The movie quietly combines various religious traditions to enfold its story in the wonder of life. How remarkable that these two mammals, and the fish beneath them and birds above them, are all here. And when they come to a floating island populated by countless meerkats, what an incredible sequence Lee creates there.

The island raises another question: Is it real? Is this whole story real? I refuse to ask that question. "Life of Pi" is all real, second by second and minute by minute, and what it finally amounts to is left for every viewer to decide. I have decided it is one of the best films of the year.

by Anonymousreply 4011/25/2012

EXCELLENT novel (and it was certainly NOT a kid's book (you idiots)).

GREAT movie.


It is amazing.

Makes you question your struggles, god, religion, faith in people.


by Anonymousreply 4111/25/2012

Actually, in Britain and Canada it was originally marketed as a juvenile (children's/young adult), but had crossover audience and then when published in US, marketed as an adult novel (particularly after the Booker)

by Anonymousreply 4211/25/2012

How does one survive 7 months on the ocean without fresh water?

by Anonymousreply 4311/25/2012

R43, he had a store of canned water in the emergency supply on the boat. When he lost that, he collected rain.

by Anonymousreply 4411/25/2012

R41's post almost makes me want to boycott the movie.

by Anonymousreply 4511/25/2012

I thought it was entertaining, but not Oscar worthy.

by Anonymousreply 4611/25/2012

I doubt it would have won the Booker Prize if it were marketed as a children's book.

by Anonymousreply 4711/25/2012

r45, you are the typical DL queen: you criticize and hate everything.

Dear, put your bra back on.

There's a lot of negativity on this thread and I would bet you and some others have yet to even SEE THE MOVIE or read the book.

by Anonymousreply 4811/25/2012

[quote]Audience members were actively yelling up to the projection booth, "turn this shit off and put the real fucking movie on."

Can you imagine what they would have said if Brokeback Mountain was previewed? Probably, "Faggots!", and the audience would have roared with laughter and you would have done...nothing.

by Anonymousreply 4911/25/2012

I'm a big fan of the novel and I absolutely loved the film adaptation. Ang Lee did a wonderful job. Suraj Sharama is not only adorable, the boy can act. And I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Irrfan Khan, who plays Pi as an adult, were to pick up a supporting actor nomination.

by Anonymousreply 5011/25/2012

The Life Of Pi is a fantasy movie, it's not going to get a BP nomination. The Hobbit will get nominated for sure.

by Anonymousreply 5111/25/2012

The tiger is bad CGI. Everything is CGI now. Even actors. It's really obnoxious. Not seeing this. Thanks for the warning OP.

by Anonymousreply 5211/25/2012

The tiger is most definitely NOT bad CGI. In fact, it's some of the most realistic CGI I've seen on film.

I loved the book and the movie.

by Anonymousreply 5311/25/2012

Does anyone else think that for a movie directed by an Asian, it was surprisingly Orientalist?

by Anonymousreply 5411/25/2012

How brutal can it be? It's rated PG not even PG13.

by Anonymousreply 5511/25/2012

Yes, I told you to put your bra back on, R41. We've seen too much of your all-caps already; don't traumatize us more.

by Anonymousreply 5611/25/2012

When Ebert gushes over a movie I'm skeptical. Although, in this case there are no blacks so I'm surprised he went so crazy over it.

by Anonymousreply 5711/25/2012

the tiger was extremely realistic and there was a real tiger involved.

It was a movie that made you think. It was amazing.

by Anonymousreply 5811/26/2012

NOT a movie for little kids!

by Anonymousreply 5911/26/2012

Loved it!!!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 6011/26/2012

Why oh why did they not dramatize the alternative story. That decision kills this movie. What a fucking waste.

by Anonymousreply 6112/03/2012

I wondered too if they DID shoot it, hence Gerard Dipardeau in that role. At least flashback clips they never used? Must admit i tuned out on long speech, didn't even listen -- had loved water stuff so much, didn't want to compromise it. That framing device really does suck the wind out of it -- but the middle 9/10ths is wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 6212/03/2012

So, let me get this straight. A guy throws his family and a bunch of animals on a boat for Canada and he thinks what? That another country is going to just open their doors and let his menagerie in? WTF.

Is it supposed to be a biblical metaphor (Noah) or what? I can't stand fantasy/sci fi (Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight) Is that this shitfest is?

by Anonymousreply 6312/04/2012

What R14 / R20 said.

by Anonymousreply 6412/04/2012

[quote]So, let me get this straight. A guy throws his family and a bunch of animals on a boat for Canada and he thinks what? That another country is going to just open their doors and let his menagerie in? WTF.

No. He had already made arrangements for his family to be set up in Canada, and he had a buyer waiting for the animals (a small portion of the whole zoo).

by Anonymousreply 6512/04/2012

If they had decided to go with a hard R rating then this movie could have been a masterpiece.

I'm flabbergasted at the positive reviews.

the movie was utter malarkey.

by Anonymousreply 6612/04/2012

Saw this tonight. Spectacular, transcendent, and on and on and on. Don't listen to idiot blather. Just go.

by Anonymousreply 6712/08/2012

This movie is so deserving of its Golden Globe nomination. Brilliant film.

by Anonymousreply 6812/13/2012

Is R67 a shill?

by Anonymousreply 6912/13/2012

R67 here. Not a shill. It's not like I'm out in my own boat with my opinion on this as the film has gotten mostly raves from critics. Right after seeing it I just came upon this thread of half-lunatic posts and had to counter the lunacy. Again, just go. And if you've gone and didn't like it, go back and try to get through second grade then see the film again. :)

by Anonymousreply 7012/13/2012

Partner and I saw it last night, in 3D. We both HATED it, despite the recommendations of some good (and usually sensible) friends. Dumbest movie ever.

by Anonymousreply 7101/03/2013


by Anonymousreply 7201/03/2013

R10, MASH did that once.

Someone was having flashbacks of being on a bus that suddenly was hiding from the enemy. A woman had to kill the chicken she was carrying becaus it kept squawking, thereby alerting the enemy. But what had really happened is that it wasn't a chicken she killed to keep quiet - it was her crying baby.

by Anonymousreply 7301/03/2013

Wow, only 11 Oscar nominations?

Take that, haters. :)

by Anonymousreply 7401/10/2013

(And that doesn't even include the overlooked one -- Best Actor. What that kid pulled off was really hard).

by Anonymousreply 7501/10/2013

Just saw it with my 12 year old grandkids. They had seen it before and liked it so much they wanted to see it again in 3D. About much more than a tiger on a boat. There is alot of backstory. It has gotten good reviews from most people, but there is no movie that is everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't let this one person's opinion dissuade you from seeing it and making up your own mind. Is the other story true....hmmmmm. You decide.

by Anonymousreply 7601/26/2013

It sucked bad. Was forced to read this rubbish in high school. Blech.

by Anonymousreply 7701/26/2013

The book was much, much better than the movie.

by Anonymousreply 7801/26/2013

The CGI tiger was very impressive. We've come a long way since the days of Jar Jar Binks.

But, yeah, I didn't think the story translated well to film at all.

by Anonymousreply 7901/26/2013

Sorry, but the CGI tiger was shit. They'd have done much better hiring one of Tippi Hedren's tigers. The movie and all of it's "search for god" crap is just a pile of shit. It's way too long and in the end is a cop out. Although I found the ship sinking scenes extremely distressing (I don't like going on boats). It's pretty to look at, but a piece of shit.

by Anonymousreply 8001/26/2013

Maybe one must read the book to appreciate the movie. I thought both were great. "Yes", I was irritated by the force-fed ending of the movie instead of leaving it open to interpretation (as the book did). But that is all I can complain about.

The acting was superb. The CGI was amazing (because seriously - it doesn't look fake in the slightest).

Whatever the case, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It just seems that the people that have the biggest grievances, are the folks that go in to the movie with false notions. Those that know the gist of the story enjoy it.

by Anonymousreply 8101/26/2013

An excellent and thought-provoking movie!

by Anonymousreply 8202/13/2013

I thought it was boring, just lots of nice pictures and a watered down religious message. The acting was pretty mediocre too. Don't like those kind of films anyway - I rather have interesting actors and great character stories than just beautiful images and a lukewarm message. One reason why I hate Terrence Malick's last efforts.

by Anonymousreply 8302/13/2013

I just saw a commercial for it and it reminded me of the old Hercules movies and their bad special effects.

by Anonymousreply 8402/13/2013


Since you didn't see the movie, how would you know the special effects were bad?

The special effects were AMAZING! Especially in 3D.

It is a very good movie.

by Anonymousreply 8502/13/2013

I saw it in 3D and the special effects were mind-blowing.

Like many of Ang Lee's movies, I responded to it on an emotional level while watching, but now that it's over, I'm not sure exactly why. He has a real knack for creating a world and making you feel what the characters feel.

by Anonymousreply 8602/13/2013

Just saw it...blown away.

by Anonymousreply 8703/04/2013

The film is a masterpiece directed by one of the great directors of his generation and is based on one of the great novels of the last decade--in fact the last 30 years.

The critics? Please. Middlebrows who prove that empty barrels make the most noise. The nonsense they have posted is silly and will seem even more stupid in years to come.

Ignore them. The film is great.

by Anonymousreply 8803/04/2013

Saw it in the movies in 3D. The effects and photography were breathtaking but the story was humdrum. Even with the reveal at the end I couldn't have cared less. But the friend I went with liked it a lot.

Different strokes for different folks.

by Anonymousreply 8903/04/2013

Great special effects but the religious stuff really got on my nerves after a while.

by Anonymousreply 9003/04/2013
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