Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Movie Review: The Life of Pi

The Life of Pi (Theatre version)

My family doesn’t entertain ourselves with the use of theatre movies very often as a unit because of how outrageously expensive it is for the five of us to go. However we recently did. Having eaten a late lunch we opted to view a movie on full stomachs so as not to spend thousands under popcorn, drinks, and candy. We went and saw The Life of Pi (3D version) at the Rave on Hurstbourne.

First, I must remind the audience here that I have a 7, 10, and 13 year old. We wanted to find a movie we would all enjoy and so my husband and I decided on this one.

The opening twenty or thirty minutes was a complete bore for my seven year old however I suspect the anticipation and excitement of actually being in the theatre wore off closer to the thirty minute mark. This meant she was only bored to the max for probably only ten minutes. My 10 yr old son was intrigued I believe by the two boys and may have only been bored by the opening for five minutes or less. Any younger than seven I’d expect them to have been loud, bothersome, and anxious to find entertainment elsewhere after the first five or ten minutes of the opening scene.

About the Movie:

The movie begins with the adult character Pi telling his story to a novelist.

His story:

Pi is a young man who after a horrible storm is shipwrecked on a small boat for over 200 days. In the beginning there are a few animals from his family’s zoo on the boat with him: an injured zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a tiger. This number quickly dwindles until finally it is the tiger alone with Pi.

They each suffer their own trials through the movie until they come upon an island only to leave it after a day or so. When all is lost and they are both on the brink of death they come upon the seashores of Mexico. There the tiger runs off into the jungle and Pi never sees it again.

Chinese officials come to Pi in the hospital determined to find out what caused the shipwreck. Pi tells them of his adventures and the officials tell him that they just can’t believe that story. Then he tells them another one.

Back to the adult Pi with his novelist friend. He asks him which story he would prefer to accept. The novelist replies and the movie ends. 

Of course, I’m not into spoilers (No SPOILERS here) so I’ll not go into any more details that could make the movie not as entertaining.

My personal thoughts…

The 3D effects were totally worth paying the extra $3.00 for.  It never ceases to amaze me the type of effects that are created for our enjoyment.  The entire storm and life with Pi on the ocean was engrossing and captivating. Although my children couldn’t appreciate the opening scenes for what they were, they were exceptional. I was given a glimpse into Pi’s brief life and sets the stage for the lessons his father had tried teaching him…as many a good father does. Life in the ocean was tentative for me at first because I’d previously seen a movie about someone stranded in the ocean and that movie seemed to draw on and on upon boring issues. This movie however was never once a dull scene. Every aspect was moving towards the end of the movie.

The end was not a gentle twist but one thrust upon me and I was definitely taken aback with a small hit of shock. Kids wouldn’t understand it, and although my 13 yr old did understand it…she wasn’t able to encompass the significance of it all.

The movie is aimed to be ‘family friendly’ and unless your family consists of mature, older children who will understand the opening and closing sequences…but still…if you can get your kids through the slow moving opening scene…they are in for a real treat…until that is…the last part of the movie.

From an adult POV…excellent movie with a deeper meaning and a very nice conclusion. From a child’s POV…the entire middle part is totally worth watching and the part where they reach population is a simple if not so great ending for them.

My verdict:  For a CHILD: 7/10 For an ADULT: 10/10


  1. May have been a bit sloppy in terms of writing, but the visuals are breathtaking and something that will definitely have your eyes advert on the screen the whole time. Good review.

  2. I've never read the book, but I thought the movie was outstanding. Well deserving of its four Oscars. Really appreciated the spiritual message. And I still swear that tiger was real.

  3. Dan, I'm interested in where/why you thought parts were written sloppy. Are you comparing it to the book?

  4. Alex, I had a bit of trouble in how it was a spiritual message. I just don't get how the story was one that would 'make you believe in God" as quoted in the movie.
    Care to explain your thoughts?