Life of Pi, directed by the Taiwanese Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Hulk), is one of the biggest box office hit of the end of the year 2012. Based on Yann Martel's novel, the movie retraces the astounding journey of the young Indian Pi Patel, son of a zoo owner who decided to migrate to Canada with his family and menagerie, hoping to find better living conditions there. But the ship expected to travel them to North America is going to wreck, and it is a miracle that Pi managed to reach a lifeboat... on which he will not be alone, because the fearsome Bengal tiger Richard Parker seems to have taken up residence there too.
The movie is quite long to start : we first have to face a very detailed introduction to the characters and their life in India in magnificient sceneries which remind us of another Indian movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Religion remains an omnipresent topic in the family debates, and the young hero tells us about his scolary misadventures often related to his unusually twisted first name chosen by his father. In fact, Pi is the short-form of Piscine Molitor (Molitor swimming-pool).. Let's admit it really sounds strange. But once that our merry companions board on the ship – facing a particularly ruthless Gerard Depardieu – the movie can start for real, and the 3D can now run its process. Sceneries of a sea sometimes quiet, sometimes infuriated are impressive, and the landscapes of the meerkats' island or the starry sky are completely dazzling. We come accross phosphorescent whales, schools of flying fishes, luxurious jungle, sunsets of radiant beauty : we will all be delighted by this stunning visual show just as we were for Avatar or Titanic (both directed by the visual genius James Cameron). The unprecedented and at the very least embarrassing situation Pi will find himself will oblige him to show ingenuity and wisdom in the face of the aggressive feline. Both guided by their survival instincts, they will manage to live side by side, and the viewer will attend the developing friendship between the fawn and the young boy, who is going to struggle against hunger and madness. Despite the lenghts of the script and some incongruous talks, the great show offered by the movie director will relieve the boredom and satisfy both young and not so young anymore viewers. The end of the movie leads us furthermore to an additional plot, which could be interpretated differently by each of us.
Whatever the genre he explores in his movies is, Lee knows how to do things well, and he loved to prove it once again with the magnificient movie Life Of Pi. He has a great concern for language, an expert judgment about images and knows how to fit his style to his new projects. So what else could have Life Of Pi been except an absolutely breath-taking movie?