Friday, December 14, 2012


Film Review by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

A boy. A tiger. A Boat. Memory, perception, loss and survival swirl
into a story retold through the eyes of time. Looking back on events
that have transformed our experience and shaped our world view is
always a perception game. In " The Life of PI " a new major motion
picture by Ang Lee, we get a primer on a young boys search for the
meaning of god and the symbols that represent it from many sources.
Before being catapulted into the survival story which is a psyche out.

Isolation, starvation, survival and retaining ones sanity under arduous
conditions as a young person does some pretty funny tricks on the mind.
Throughout history, film history that is, we have had quite a few films
which have taken place on the water. The Titanic films of the 1940's,
1950's, as well as 1970's " Posseiden Adventure " and the latest

There was " Lifeboat " , which at the core has much in common with,
" Life of PI " , ethics of the survivalist, cannibalism : who should
liveand die ?, etc ... " The Old Man and The Sea " is another that comes to
mind, it's almost a genre. " The Deep " and " Big Blue ". " Jaws " .
These are films where the ocean itself is a character or an animal plays
a key role in the relationship with our characters, their dilemma and
the story being told. " Orca " as well " Moby Dick " and " The Perfect
Storm " are also in this rich history of human versus sea / animal /
weather, etc...

Ang Lee does a wonderful job bringing this story to life with a kind
ofSatyajit Ray - like homage to the main character who is East Indian.
There is a bit of heavy handedness in professing the existence of a god,
a slightly pedantic view that is a bit disheartening considering the
itself is so inspiring that to actually have your characters explain
thiswithin the dialogue is unnecessary. Convince us through action not

Once we get into the adventure, all is well, in terms of movie making.
Thetiger and our lead character, PI, a young Man thrust upon the sea with
several animals as well as the tiger, jocky for positions inleadership, ego 
and friendship . The digital effects and the Tiger itself as well as
the many hallucinatory aspects of the story are glorious in their visuals as
well as the effect it provides to the story. Is what we are seeing actually
happening ?
Our narrator is young, is he fibbing ? So much time has passed between
the actual events and the telling of the story that we have to imagine
what may really have happened out there on the sea with a boy, a tiger, a
hyena , a zebra, an orangoutang and a few cameos by sharks, tunas, a 
whale and a cannibal flower like island of sorts. This is a poem. Not a film per
se. This is a work of art. This is a dream, a nightmare, a survival story
hidden within the mind of a young man, tested by the sea, his family, his
faith and life.

It's a beautiful film. Ang Lee continues to challenge himself and the
audience with diverse stories that cross boundaries, cultures and genres. 
He is a master filmmaker in the prime of his career. From the opening 
sequence through to the end , we are entertained, challenged and satisfied. 
This film is a sort of opera, with animals, nature and the existence of god 
at its very core. Although by the end of this film we realize that a whole 
other story exists that would have been the biggest downer in the world 
to experience. A total tragedy of the darkest dissent into death, destruction 
and disaster. What really happened out there is up to interpretation. Our 
narrator as well as our director and writer allow us to ponder this interpretation 
as well as the other more tragicversion(s).

We highly suggest this film. " The Life of PI " now playing nationwide
in Theatres.