Rated PG 4 stars out of 5
I didn’t see “Life of Pi” at the theater, I saw it on DVD last night. However, I think it was meant to be seen like a moving painting – a kaleidoscope of the trials of life. Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) earned his best director Oscar as did Cinematographer Claudio Miranda (TRON: Legacy).
I did not read the book, but we all saw the trailer. It’s a movie about a guy who is stuck on a life raft with a tiger. The book was based on the story of a Jewish-German refugee who crossed the Atlantic Ocean while sharing his boat with a jaguar. And yeah, it was made with bits of light and magic known as CGI, but it was used to enhance the story and never to impress or distract from the experience.
I saw the movie as a metaphor – a complete metaphor for life and the struggles of man. We are all crossing a great sea, alone on a craft that is barely worthy. If that isn’t enough, we have a tiger to deal with. We all have one. It may be drugs, booze, women, neighbors, illness, pain, a boss, or other obsessions or objects of aggression. We have to respect the tiger, feed the tiger, and eventually tame the tiger if we are to survive. We may hate the tiger – it wants to kill us, but in the end, it is our tiger, and as the movie tells us, when we look in the tiger’s eyes we see a reflection of ourselves. At the end of our life we understand that we needed the tiger. If there were no tiger in our life, no struggle, we would not have been challenged and not developed the life skills necessary for survival. If you do not tame your tiger, you will never have the life you were meant to live.
The “Life of Pi” got to me, and that is what movie’s are supposed to do; leave you thinking about it, the themes and your own life. You can’t get it out of your head. You smile, and you are frustrated, you toss and turn at night. I know, it looked like it belonged in the “artsy-fartsy” category, and maybe it does. All I am saying is give art a chance, and maybe you will find peace. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. The only thing keeping me from that fifth star is the “I want to tell you a story narrative” format. That bothers me…but not as much as this tiger I have in my life boat that I have to deal with every day.
Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site: http://bashmovies.wordpress.com/