I honestly never would have thought it possible for a film to match up to ‘Dark Knight Rises’, but if anything can, this film can. I suppose that DKR may have been a bit over-hyped due to my nerdy teenage mind. But this… this is the real deal. I stand firm in telling you that what I am reviewing here today is the best motion picture of the year.
Piscine ‘Pi’ Patel is a young indian man who has lived all of his life working at his family’s zoo. His zoo houses many respected animals including an adult Bengal Tiger who gets his name due to a typo. (The man who brought the tiger was called Thirsty and the tiger was called Richard Parker.) Upon a voyage out of India to Canada by large cargo ship, a terrible storm hits and Pi is left stranded on a lifeboat. He finds several animals abandoned on the boat, but they end up killing each other by instinct until only Richard Parker the tiger is left. Now Pi must learn to survive on what little supplies he has, and must attempt to train the ferocious tiger and get to safety in a story that ‘will make you believe in God’.
Where do I begin? The setting. We spend so much time out on the sea with nothing going on, we feel ourself trapped in desolation as much as Pi is. The feelings of stress and lonliness are similar to that of ‘127 Hours’, but unlike that film, we don’t cut back to memories of his old life. We get all of those in the first act, and then we’re suddenly stuck in this boat with Pi and Richard Parker. It’s almost like an experience, and if you get the chance, see this movie on the biggest screen you can and in 3D. While the 3D effects aren’t exactly the greatest (that bicycle in the background looks like it’s in the foreground), it does emphasize how in-the-middle-of-nowhere Pi is and the believable amount of space between him and the tiger that always puts you on edge. Pi is portrayed by an extremely underrated Suraj Sharma. Like James Franco in ‘127 Hours’, you are with him every second of the way from the regrets of losing his family to his feelings on the tiger. And speaking of the tiger, Richard Parker is the most amazing CG character of the year. Gollum can be told off by Alan Arkin from Argo. He makes you wonder throughout the story what he thinks of the boy. Pi’s father says early on that any emotion you think you see in an animal’s eyes is simply the reflection of your own eyes, but as we see throughout the film. That is not the case. The VFX portrayed him perfectly. The VFX! Oh, golly! I’ll bet you anything this walks home with the VFX Oscar. Simply creating these animals and locations to look real but have a certain-dream like look to them perfectly sets the mood of the story.
And then you’ve got the whole ‘believe in God’ thing. I’m aware that Religion is not a good topic for online blogging, but I’ll simply tell you that this movie did make me believe in God. Everything seems like a blur between the real world and divine creation. And you know that the Lord has a master plan and how Pi’s hope represents all hope in humankind and that even when we think we are alone, someone is always watching over us.
Top the whole thing off with beautiful music, astounding cinematography, and masterful editing. You’ve got yourself the best motion picture of the year. What are you still doing reading this review? This is a must-see. And don’t just wait until the BluRay comes out. See it on the biggest screen you can find and get ready for the cinematic experience of the year.