DVD Review: Life of Pi

Jun 02, 2013, 06:33 IST | Kareena N Gianani

Ineffable and dangerous things can happen when you put a teenager in the middle of a tempest at sea.

Then, if you entertain the notion of him as a castaway, with no one except adult Bengal tiger for company, what you get is a hair-raising, nearly impossible tale. And, of course, the plot of author Yann Martel’s most acclaimed work, Life Of Pi and director Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning adaptation on celluloid.

Life of Pi is not one story but several stories in one. It starts with an author visiting a Montreal-based man for a story which would make him believe in god. The man, called Pi, begins his own, whimsical story as a boy in Puducherry who is embarrassed at being named after a swimming pool in Paris (Piscine Molitor Patel) and the lengths he goes to so he can shrug it off from the cruel ears of his classmates. Gradually, the film traces the story of his many religious faiths and an innocence only children can manage to retain. 

A still from director Ang Lee’s film, Life Of Pi

The most powerful story however, unfolds when Pi grows up and his father decides to shift base to Canada. All the animals at their zoo in Puducherry, too, must shift with them on a Japanese ship sailing across the Pacific. After a fierce storm, the ship sinks, but Pi survives. He wakes up to find himself in company of Richard Parker, the adult Bengal Tiger which belonged in his father’s zoo.

The story of Pi as a castaway is nothing short of fantastic. He braves angry waters, a tiger who must be tamed and a carnivorous island with meerkats. The extra features in the DVD, however, disappoint. Life Of Pi is renowned not only for its story but also some brilliant special effects, which came alive in the films 3D version.

The extra features in the DVD, however, do not explore this cinematic feat at all. Instead, it sticks to the regular fare of interviews of the cast and crew, which take through their emotional journey while filming Life Of Pi, but not a step further. The DVD barely adds much to the film’s visual extravaganza. The interviews are touching, but anticlimatic to what the movie offers. 

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