‘Life of Pi’ exquisitely filmed

Movie Review
By: Frank Miller, Special to The News Messenger
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“Life of Pi”

Directed by Ang Lee  

Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Rafe Spall

Rating: Three out of five stars

The story of a shipwrecked boy surviving in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is incredible enough but throw in a vicious tiger and you’ve got a truly unique tale.

“Life of Pi” follows a young boy who is making his way from India to Canada via cargo ship when a wicked storm leaves him the sole survivor on a small lifeboat.

The boy, named Pi, is the son of a zookeeper and the cargo ship contained many animals that were going to be sold by Pi’s father upon arrival at their destination.

Complicating Pi’s survival on the lifeboat is a Bengal tiger that managed to stow away on the vessel as well.

Pi must find a way to coexist with the tiger on the open waters while trying to find enough food and water to keep them both alive.

The story is exquisitely filmed by director Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”) and “Life of Pi” is one of the best-looking movies that has graced the multiplexes this year.

Lee’s creative use of computer-generated imagery results in some truly stunning visuals that will stick with you long after the movie has ended.

However, one of the film’s characters states that this is a story that “will make you believe in God.”

While the focus of the movie is on religion – Pi is a practicing Hindu, Christian and Muslim – there is nothing that delves more than surface deep.

There is also a somewhat convoluted twist to the ending that raises more questions than it answers. While the point of the twist is to challenge your faith, it certainly doesn’t benefit the movie narratively.

Still, if you aren’t too concerned with the lack of depth in the religious subtext, “Life of Pi” remains an entertaining story of perseverance in the face of extreme adversity.

Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.