To produce a coherent film from Martel's tricky novel would be achievement enough, but Ang Lee has extracted something beautiful, wise and, at times, miraculous. 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. A riot of saturated colour and delirious imagination, Ang Lee's adap radiates spirituality. But it's also a simple, thrilling and gently uplifting tale of a boy, a boat and a tiger. Take the plunge. Pi is a giant leap forward, outward and upward in expanding the resources of the evolving medium of movies. Magical realism was rarely so magical and never before so real. The larger messages about spirituality often seem forced, and it's more compelling to focus on Lee's visceral cinematic experience than on the larger, fuzzier messages Martel's story conveys about humanity's connection with God. Life of Pi, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature, and Lee wrings more than enough meaning from the excitement of that spectacle; we need nothing higher.
VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)