Ang Lee's cinematic adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel Life of Pi is a gloriously magnificent work of art. Shot in 3D, the film takes full advantage of the technology to bring to life the colorful world of India and the Pacific Ocean where the film's protagonist, Pi (portrayed by newcomer Suraj Sharma) finds himself trapped after enduring a shipwreck.
There are several moments in the film where the cinematography greatly enhances the fantasy-like environment Pi finds himself in. The use of vibrant colors throughout the movie creates a dream-like state that wows on many levels. One notable sequence is a scene at night when Pi sees a school of glowing jellyfish in the ocean, as the neon glow of the jellyfish illuminates a large humpback whale that leaps over his head. The scene uses a carefully measured amount of visual effects to allow the viewer's eye to question whether or not the sequence is based in reality or in Pi's imagination.
Another element that deserves praise is the marvelous Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger that Pi finds himself stuck with on the lifeboat out at sea. The CGI animal is so intricately designed it looks and feels real, and its ravishing color contrasts the various shades of blue from the sky and sea, generating a visual feast for the eye.
Suraj Sharma, who makes his acting debut in this movie, gives a splendid performance. The hopes and fears of Pi is brilliantly captured in his acting. Sharma manages to create a character that remains grounded in reality despite the bizarre happenings around him. All in all, Ang Lee has created a masterful work of art in Life of Pi, which is visually pleasing and full of heart.
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