Film Studies: “The Life of Pi” by Ang Lee Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Life of Pi is a great film based on Yann Martel’s novel which story centers on Pi Patel son of an Indian Zookeeper. Pi’s family decides to move to Canada after the municipality stopped supporting the family Zoo (Ebert n.p.). Pi’s father believes that they would find a place in Canada where they would sell their animals. They board a huge Japanese freighter with all their animals and set out for the ocean.

The freighter experiences huge storms causing it to sink. Pi fights for his survival by taking a lifeboat after which he discovers a huge male tiger named Parker together with other few animals on the boat. Pi has to find a way for survival and gets into the boat as he and the animals start getting thirsty and hungry. At one point, he is forced to build a small raft a safe distance from angry and hungry Parker.

Pi later starts fishing to feed Parker and collects rainwater for them both. They struggle for survival in the rough sea having occasional encounters with ‘kings’ of the sea, for instance, the huge whale that almost overturned their boat. In that event, most of his supplies are lost in the ocean, compelling him to consume fish for the first time (Ebert n.p.).

Pi finds a way of training Parker to accept him, thereby making it less dangerous to be around him. After a few weeks, they reach an island with plenty of food and water and renew their lost energy. The Island turns hostile during the night forcing them to flee. They reach the coast of Mexico where Parker disappears into the jungle badly crushing Pi’s spirit which was now fond of the big jungle cat. Pi is finally rescued and taken to hospital.

The effective use of 3-D format is apparent in the movie from its first frames, making it undoubtedly a must watch for a 3-D fan (Ebert n. p.). The viewer gets captivated by mesmerizing views of Pi’s young life in French India where beautiful landscapes, animals, and colors are used. The cinematographer frames so many sequences with the complexity of field dimension, making it a quite fascinating scenery that attracts most viewers.

Wildly thought to be un-filmable, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi director miraculously achieved it by turning a best-seller novel into an amazing film. The film greatly done, softly combining several religious traditions to enfold its story in the wonder of life (Ebert, 2012). The director was able to bring to the screen an un-filmable story with the use of magnificent mastery of computer animation.

Ang Lee also demonstrated mastery as a director of special effects, noting that most animals in the movie were produced via the wizardry of computer-generated images.

Through his inventiveness, the director also catches the attention of his viewers in certain captivating scenes such as Pi’s making a raft and keeping it in a safe distance from the lifeboat in order to keep himself safe from Parker the tiger, his ability to find food after his stocks were destroyed by the huge whale and many more interesting scenes.

The taming of the tiger is also one of his high highlights. However, the director suffers several setbacks in proving his prowess as the story ends ambiguously.

Ang Lee’s movie is stronger as a visual experience, particularly when watched in 3D and would be a great movie for 3 D visual lovers. The movie is highly adventurous, entertaining, and informative.

Works Cited

Ebert, Roger. (2012). Rogerbert: Life of Pi Review. 20 Nov 2012. Web <>

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