Starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Gautam Belur, Ayush Tandon, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Ayan Khan, Mohamed Abbas Khaleeli, Vibish Sivakumar, Gérard Depardieu, Wang Bo-Chieh, Shravanthi Sainath, Andrea Di Stefano, Elie Alouf
Directed by Ang Lee
I’ve started and re-started this review a handful of times, struggling to find a good way to begin discussing Life of Pi. The central question in the film is one that’s challenging to talk about, especially when trying to remain free of spoilers. But would a philosophical question constitute spoilers? In this case, it probably would be, but the central question in Life of Pi isn’t necessarily a new concept so maybe not. Because of this philosophical basis, Life of Pi is a different type of movie than your average blockbuster. The TV spots may have called this “The next Avatar” (in order to get butts in seats), but while Life of Pi is a very visual film, the colorful, fantastical visuals are mostly window dressing to the central philosophical question.
A novelist lost for ideas has been guided to talk with an Indian man living in French Canada. He’s been told that this man has a fantastic story to tell. The Indian man is Pi, and he does indeed tell quite the tale. It begins with the story of how he received his unusual name and quickly moves along from there. The story beats aren’t all that important, though, it’s really about the questions that the story is built upon that provides the film its power and lasting appeal.