Life of Pi a Brief Review by Elizabeth Weintraub

There is no real way to describe the movie: Life of Pi. It’s a movie that should be experienced, and you can see it at the downtown mall in Sacramento. It’s not like The Tree of Life that forced the Tower Theatre to put up notices in the lobby warning moviegoers about it because so many people complained that it wasn’t a movie. This movie is not only visual. It’s moving and magical and monumental and magnificent. Director Ang Lee’s majesty is all over it.

You might wonder, like I did, how a movie about a boy lost at sea in a boat with a tiger could be very interesting but it was mesmerizing. First, the movie is in 3D, so if you have an opportunity to see this movie in your area and it’s not offered in 3D, I would not go see it. You know how some movie theaters are and not all of them show a 3D movie in 3D. The 3D effects are spectacular, and except for the couple of instances of a hummingbird fluttering over the seat in front of me, I quickly forgot that I was even wearing glasses. I was sucked into the movie and became part of it. It was Zen.

Pi is a boy in India. He is inquisitive and somewhat precocious. He is a Hindu / Christian / Muslim, but the movie is not about religion even though faith in God plays a part. There is a long beginning about his family, his family history, yeah, they own a zoo in India, and tigers are mean because they are a wild animal. Then, they get on an oceanliner with a racist cook and all of the animals and they head for Canada. A wild storm at sea makes the boat sink, and Pi winds up a in a lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, zebra and a Bengal tiger.

It’s the storm that starts the gripping of the movie. Up until that point, I was perfectly calm in my seat, munching on popcorn and sipping a Diet Coke. But the minute those waves kicked up and began to churn, my heart began to pound. It’s like the movie reached out into the audience and stuck its sticky little movie fingers around my throat and did not let go for the rest of the movie. It pulled me to the edge of my seat. I gripped my husband’s hand. There were parts during which I wanted to shield my eyes. I thought my eyes could not possibly withstand the view, but my head was in a vise grip and I could not avert my eyes from the screen.

I walked into the theater wondering how a director could get a tiger into a boat to make a movie. Ha, I live with 3 cats. I walked out buying the whole thing. Except for maybe the part with the meerkats, I had my doubts about those. You should go see it. And yes, sirree, bananas can float.


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