Carlin's Review of Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)
Maybe it's because of the hype of the advertising, or maybe because of the comparisons being made to "AVATAR", but after paying to go see "LIFE OF PI" on opening weekend, I have to say I came away somewhat disappointed. When I go to see a movie, I'm going for an entertainment experience. I'm looking to be excited. I'm looking to feel a sense of wonder. I'm not looking to have the movie trying to shove a message into my brain such as "YOU WILL BELIEVE IN GOD!" I felt like I was watching a commercial for religion made by a combination of Hindus, Muslims, and Tea Party Republicans.
The storyline is presented as a narrative by the adult PI telling his story to a journalist who was referred to him by some GUY named MamaGee (drag queen?) who we are briefly introduced to in a flashback to Pi's childhood, one of many. Apparently, it was through the influence of this "MamaGee" that PI was stuck with his rather stupid name, being named after some French swimming pool he had swam in prior to Pi's birth, and him telling the story about this swimming pool to Pi's parents. So they named him Piscine Molitor Patel, which became "Pissing Patel" when he got to his school days. So the young boy devised a plan to convince his peers and teachers to stop calling him by this derogatory name and instead, to call him PI by demonstrating his knowledge of the number which is used in mathematical calculations.
Pi's family is Hindu, but when he is a teenager, Pi gets introduced to the religions of Muslim and Christianity and decides he will adopt the best practices of all 3 religions, to the bemusement of his family, seemingly incapable of deciding upon only one. Pi's father owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India but after a while, decides that with changing economic times in India (in the 1970?s) his family would have a brighter future if they emigrated to Canada. So they pack up their possessions and some of their animals, and take a small Japanese boat sailing to India. A few days after departing, the ship encounters a terrible storm and the boat is capsized and sinks, with only Pi escaping in a lifeboat with an assortment of animals including one of his father's tigers from the zoo named Richard Parker.
What follows is the story of how Pi survives, along with the tiger while all the time reaching out to his various religious beliefs for endurance and strength to keep on going.
While there is some beautiful imagery, particularly during the nights floating on the ocean, most of it seems to be the hallucinations of the starving Pi in the end. There is some great use of the 3D effects and the animation of the computer generated tiger is amazing, but I can't say that I enjoyed this movie as much as I had hoped that I would. The ending is rather flat and uneventful. Maybe if you've read the book it is based upon, you'd have a better understanding of what is trying to be conveyed by the movie, but I found it ridiculous and poorly put together and just really did not feel I got my money's worth, even though I used a discounted ticket.