Life of Pi - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life of Pi Reviews

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zach l.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2013
Beautiful... Just beautiful. Ang Lee brings to life one of my favorite books and does it with such passion and determination. This adaptation, thought to be "unfilmable", achieves wonders in 3D and visual effects, as well as emotional story telling and great time first performance by Suraj Sharma.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2013
Honestly, I read the book long ago before I watch this movie and when I heard that 'Life of Pi' will be made into a movie my question were : how can a boring book turned into a movie that will drawn the audiences' attention? But after I heard a lot of positive reviews on this movie, I was tempted to watch this movie.. And after I spent almost 2 hours watching this movie, I must gave a big two thumbs up to Ang Lee for making a beautiful visualization of this novel.. Suraj Sharma also make a great and quite impressive performance for his Hollywood debut performance as Pi Patel.. Overall, the Oscars that this movie got shows us how great the quality of this movie had..
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2013
An incredibly captivating story of the titular character, Pi, that ingeniously thrusts audiences so closely with the main message of the movie. I don't think any movie has questioned and talked to me in such a direct but powerful way like "Life of Pi" did.

At the heart of it, "Life of Pi" is a drama/survival flick. With a movie so grounded thematically, people quickly assume that this is an art-house film. I respond with a resounding no. "Life of Pi" is crafted with such cohesion; everything to the plot, actors, script, and cinematography mesh together to bring an entertaining but thoughtful piece of art. Let me tell you, the visuals are absolutely gorgeous. I still think best cinematography should've went to "Skyfall", but that doesn't make "Life of Pi" an ugly one though; the art direction and the colors truly pop off the screen here.

"Life of Pi" is, in my opinion, what should've taken the cake for best picture. Yeah, I enjoyed "Django Unchained" and "Skyfall" more, but as a whole, "Life of Pi" covers all the bases of what makes a real solid film.
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2010
A great undertaking for director Ang Lee, this adaptation of the 2001 novel from Yann Martel asks about the entire world, but only gives murky answers. It speaks about religion or spirituality, and how a young man copes in the middle of the ocean with a Bengal tiger, shipwrecked for almost a year. He experiences the world of nature around him, finding himself broken and looking for his God, while also finding himself connecting to nature through his travels with Richard Parker, the tiger. Their relationship turns swiftly from one of bitter feud to a strange reliance and emotional dependency. What makes the film verge into adventure are the visuals, the use of animals, and Pi's desire to keep a record of their journeys. These all instill a fun and near family atmosphere to the film, but looking at the deeper meaning and message to the film, there's nothing truly adventurous about it. It's much more about how we believe the world is linear, and in reality it doesn't make any sense and life as we know it is fluid and uneven. The first twenty minutes are the most enjoyable, though they have nothing to do with the shipwreck, or Pi's time at sea. It tells about Pi's life, the person he becomes, his ties with his family, and how he copes with his world as a Hindu Christian. It's essential to the rest of the film, and once we get into the exposition of the sea, we lose some of that character to the CGI tiger and wave machine made ocean. This film is beautiful though, and that's the main reason people love it. It's colorful, lively, and has some scenes of real and computer generated nature that have you in awe. This film is probably best seen in 3D and it's a shame that I couldn't see it in theaters. The ending has a slight twist, though it's doubtful that you will find it distracting from what the film is trying to say. This is definitely a film that you have to pay attention to and experience with all your senses so that you can appreciate the ending better, and realize more about the character than what small amount of personality is shown onscreen.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2013
Very imaginative story, with plenty of (maybe a little too much) computerized imagery, and a fine performance by Suraj Sharma. Entertaining with a definitively profound message. Not for the weak of heart for animals, though. I had to close my eyes, and ears, a few times...
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2013
Probably one of my favorite movies now. I guess it's a lot like the story of Job, every bad thing that could happen to Pi.. but it all works out. I chose the unbelievable. You get to choose your own ending. This movie is beautiful in every sense of the word.
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2013
From the reviews I expected a lot more from this film then I got. A good story but I was just expecting more from all the talk and hype. Worth watching and its a film that you have to be totally relaxed and ready to keep up with or you will miss the point. Maybe I missed the point. 3 stars 4-17-13
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2013
So many book adaptation these days! Ang Lee is fast becoming a master of lavish epic stories, stories with international spice. This new film bears all the hallmarks of a foreign film to be honest, I was surprised to discover it was American made, amazed in fact.

The story is told in part by narration from the main character, who is an adult. He is telling a writer about his fantastical story, about his early years in India and his families decision to immigrate to Canada. After a slow build up revolving around his family, his keen interest in various religions, the way he acquired his name and the family owned zoo, we start to get to the crux of the film.

Whilst on board the freighter bound for Canada, a storm hits and sinks the ship apparently killing everyone. 'Pi' survives on a lifeboat with a tiger, zebra, hyena and orangutan, this is where the real story begins.

Up to this point I'll be totally honest with you all and say the film isn't overly interesting. A slow character building plot showing you Indian family life and how religious minded the young 'Pi' is. Don't let that scare you though, the film is not in the least bit preachy about religion, its a very light view really, 'Pi's' parents are surprisingly easy on him whilst he switches from one to another trying to find his feet. You do kinda expect his father to go ape shit with him but that doesn't happen, that's not what this is about.

Of course the CGI in this film is pretty much the main focus, its not what the film is about but it takes centre stage. So how can I put this for you? the film looks like a crystal clear watercolour painting with 'Dali-esque' sequences of beauty that will inspire you, hows that?. Yes the CGI does look a tad obvious from time to time for sure (the animals in the lifeboat) but in general you don't care. Its like a living painting, constantly changing, expressing the sublime miracle that is nature, almost teaching you as it goes, a virtual wildlife show in poetic motion. Lets not forget about those sparkling sunsets, stormy skies, nautical dusk's and twilight's.

The sequence at night whilst 'Pi' drifts on the ocean surface surrounded by hundreds of bioluminescent jellyfish is damn near stunning, then a mighty Humpback whale (I think) bursts through the waters surface saturating the screen in a glowing shower of turquoise liquid!...pure fantasy but none the less spectacular. To be frank I found it disappointing that these sequences were CGI, I wanted them to be real. As for the main animal 'character', 'Richard Parker' the Bengal tiger, he's fudging faultless! in fact I'm not even sure if they used a real tiger anywhere, did they??! I really couldn't tell.

The story isn't all about fancy effects though as I said, there is a lot more to it than that. The young boy surviving on his own aboard this lifeboat, there is a huge amount of faith naturally, hope, courage, fear, acceptance and understanding. He must learn to deal with his fate, not to blame God for his situation but let God enter his heart and give him the strength to survive. He can't rely on God or a God to bail him out, he can't worry about which religion is right, he must be true to himself.

He must also be cautious and firm with his big cat companion, learn to coexist together for the greater good, they need each other after all.

In the end various elements from the various religions help young 'Pi' on his perilous journey. The story does a great job of simply showing how similar these religions are, how one is not greater than the other, nor is one anymore correct than the other, there is no definitive way. Sounds heavy but it really isn't, the whole plot plays out like a child's bedtime fairytale, a fairytale with a good message.

This visual treat has so many layers its incredible, an Asian/Indian subcontinental core with a dash of Chiwan flavouring from its director. You can clearly see how the animals/mammals in the film are represented and beautifully expressed which is so important to both cultures, the tiger especially. Its so strange that this deep little tale comes from a French speaking Canadian!, it just seems so very close to the stories roots of India, or the far East/Indochina maybe.

Sure the ending is a bit depressing, we find out what really happened, the reality, but like the characters in the story you too can choose which tale you preferred. There is actually no right answer, the question is, does the tale make YOU believe in God?.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2013
Great story & sets an incredible standard as far as visual effects go. I was concerned about all the animals looking realistic, but those fears were quickly removed. The tiger looked especially lifelike, but all the other animals looked real and the scenery is incredibly vibrant, colorful & beautiful. You'll understand why it was up for and won Oscars in that regard. Watch it on Blu-ray! It's definitely going in my collection!
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2013
Dull, long, and preposterous.
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2013
This movie is a visual spectacle, and has some of the greatest CGI and effects since Avatar. It is definitely worth it if you have an appreciation for that kind of thing. But this movie also succeeds on a deeper level. It is a wonderful story about loss and faith, and it is definitely Oscar worthy. The only flaw is that this movie doesn't trust the viewer's intelligence, and it has a character (at one point towards the end of the film) spell out everything that happened in a nice little package so that even if you were asleep throughout the movie you would understand what happened. Still, its a great movie that has a wonderful story and some of the best visual effects I have ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2013
I went in with lofty expectations, and they were exceeded. I thought this film would be amazing visuals and no story, but there is actually a great story to go along with the amazing visuals. I laughed more than I thought I would, the story is very emotional, the music is great, and Ang Lee's directing is impeccable. An unforgettable all around movie.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2013
A visually effective movie that is beautifully made, although a very interesting and unique concept it is slow paced and at times slightly dragging, none the less still an achievement for ang lee.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2012
Life of Pi is a fantastic technical achievement, but a slow pace and overlong length sucks some of the joy out of it. The first 45 minutes are used to provide background information on the family and characters, but it's far too much and mostly boring. The middle section is undoubtedly the best, with some sustained moments of awe and effective relationship building between Pi and the tiger. Unfortunately, the worst part of the movie is the final moments. An ill-advised add in of fantasy or reality takes some of the magic out of the movie and the 5 minutes or so of monologue explaining the other story that also could have happened is downright boring. They should have done the same thing with the other story and actually showed it and taken out some of the less compelling scenes. The special effects are incredibly impressive, especially the fully CG tiger that you never question for a second. Some of the special effects are a little too in your face and showy, but still beautiful regardless. Life of Pi is a movie I admired more than enjoyed as it did not engage me intellectually or emotionally, but it is certainly a well-made film that some will love.
Super Reviewer
December 23, 2012
An incredible, powerful, and beautiful film. Wow, wow, and wow.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2013
Life of Pi is a tremendous and breath-taking tale of morality, spirituality, reality, survival, and adventure. It is one of the year's best films.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2013
Magical and mystical; full of allegory and metaphor and yet so very human (which perhaps is the point), Life of Pi is a revelation, not only for the story it tells, but for the way Ang Lee chooses to tell it. Every frame of this 3D effort is filled with beauty and love - here the 3D does not detract... in fact, after a time you forget that it's even there as it is so seamless and natural.

Whether you believe in things religious is besides the point here, as you can certainly be entertained and perhaps even brought into a sense of spirituality by this stunningly filmed story that weaves its spell of cosmic proportions around the story of a young man who must rely on himself and his wits in order to survive - his situation does not so much "bring out the best in him" as the bromide usually infers some form of "goodness", but in this instance it brings out the man, or more to the point, humanity that we should all embrace.

I found the performance of Suraj Sharma as Pi to be so filled with humanity - he is straight forward, self effacing and thoroughly human. It is with equal marvel that I watched Irfan Khan's performance as the older version of Pi. He is able to exude a certain calm and acceptance of life as he tells his story; you can simply tell that he is at peace with not only who HE is, but with the world around him.

I don't want to reveal the allegorical turns here, as it is best to discover them for yourself, but rest assured, you will be contemplating what this film has to say and how it says it long after the closing credits. A wonderful film that is well deserving of the 11 nominations for Oscar... this film touched me in glorious ways and I would recommend its viewing to anyone.
Super Reviewer
½ December 15, 2012
A visually opulent triumph of film-making!

Amazing Film!!! It is more than a survival story and it is not about friendship. This story is about faith. Director Ang Lee use all the tools he have to make this movie about a solitary young man not a boring one. It is narrated by both, young Pi and the Adult Pi, it uses music all the time so there is not space for uncomfortable silents and the rhythm of the scenes is fast. The film begs interpretation from the multiplicity of religions to the place of mankind in a hostile, Darwinian world. Ultimately the benign brotherhood of beasts and humans is affirmed not so much by lofty philosophy but by the necessity of man and beast working together to survive. In the end, Lee is interested in the individual's place in the universe as he struggles to harness nature and yet live in harmony with these elements. The conflict with the gross cook aboard the Japanese cargo ship taking Pi's family and animals to Canada is emblematic of the challenges facing the gifted with the groundlings. Pi's relationship with tiger "Richard Parker" represents all mankind's struggle to live in harmony with the forces it cannot control. The Life of Pi is everyone's life; the film is one of the best of the year and, even remembering the greatness of The Old Man and the Sea, Moby Dick, and Billy Budd, the best you will ever see about a boy, a tiger, and a boat. Highly recommended!!!

Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zoo keeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2013
An adventure of sweet wonder and an endeavor to the tinkerings human feeling and its nature. A beautiful examination of what it means to live, providing the sparks to intuit one's own discovery of self.
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