Newest Reviews
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Traitor, The
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
  Life of Pi Hold That Tiger
Year: 2012
Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Tandon, Gautam Belur, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Ayaan Khan, Mohd Abbas Khaleeli, Vibish Sivakumar, Rafe Spall, Gérard Depardieu, James Saito, Jun Naito, Andrea Di Stefano, Shravanthi Sianath, Elie Alouf, Padmini Ramachandran
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) is being interviewed by a journalist (Rafe Spall) for a possible book based on his life, so he has invited the man around to cook him lunch and discuss the project. As the meal is prepared, they get to talking and Pi starts by telling him of how he got his name, which is a shortened form of Piscine, after a French swimming pool a close family friend fell in love with. This gave Pi a lot of trouble at school, because his classmates were less than entranced by his exotic moniker and tended to call him Pissing instead, that was until he performed an incredible feat...

That feat is hard to believe if you're of a sceptical bent, but makes perfect sense if you're willing both trust the storyteller and maybe trust in something more. Life of Pi was a bestselling novel by Yann Martel before it was a movie, and took quite some time to get to the screen, passing through the hands of a number of creative types until director Ang Lee thought he had material he could successfully make a production out of. Good for him that he did, winning a clutch of awards, including the Oscar for Best Direction, and there were a number of audiences who didn't have a problem with that as it won many fans.

However, there were those wondering what the fuss was about, some of whom had read the book and preferred it, and others who found its philosophical musings harder to swallow for whatever reasons of their own. Certainly on a visual level it was very nice to look at, in 3D if you had that available to you, though it didn't really come into its own as far as the imagery went until the main section half an hour in when Pi wound up stranded: it sounded like the start of a joke, did you hear the one about the boy on the boat with the tiger, but it provided the basis for the kind of adventure which harkened back pleasingly to the sort of effort Sabu might have starred in during his heyday.

But was it any more than a colourful adventure or did its spiritual musings hold water? That was an issue, for no matter how it made an impression on the page, as a film it did appear relentlessly middlebrow, nothing wrong with that in principle but lacking when Pi claims at the beginning of his tale that it will make you believe in God. What that almost invariably meant was it would confirm your belief in the Almighty if you already held such faith, yet atheists would stand firm with a wry "Nice story!" and dismiss what they regarded as a simple trick. As for the agnostics, they could see either side, and be amused that this debate was still going on with neither convincing the other to a conclusion.

Set that aside and you had, after a long introduction where the young Pi struggles with which religion to opt for, a rattling good yarn which might have been more satisfying without making its pretensions to depth of meaning so overt. For a film which all but states that God moves in mysterious ways and you have to be patient to notice the details of the miracle of life and how they affected you, the bright palette and determination to dazzle the audience tended to move in the opposite direction, fair enough it was a self-confessed good story we were watching, but the strokes it was painted in were broad, verging on the gaudy. This was at its best when Pi was stuck in that lifeboat with his tiger, fighting for survival and finding meaning by helping the wild animal, transported on the wrecked ship for a zoo, live on as well. You can't beat a solid yarn about enduring against the odds, and that provided it; it was when it reached for a too cute resolution, whichever way that would go, that it faltered. Music by Mychael Danna.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1558 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Ang Lee  (1954 - )

Taiwanese director who can handle emotional drama as effectively as action. The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman secured him international attention, and Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility and 1970s-set The Ice Storm were also well received. Epic western Ride with the Devil was a disappointment, but Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won four Oscars, including best foreign language film, and led him to direct flop blockbuster Hulk.

"Gay cowboy" yarn Brokeback Mountain proved there was a large market for gay films among straight audiences as well as homosexual, Lust, Caution pushed sexual barriers in the Chinese market, and he won his Oscar for the adaptation of the supposedly unfilmable Life of Pi. He began pushing at the boundaries of technology with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and sci-fi actioner Gemini Man, but they were not hits.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: