Friday, September 13, 2013

Movie Review- "The Life of Pi"




I watched “Life of Pi” last night on Starz . It wasn’t a plan and I did miss the first ten minutes, but it was on the “Maybe You Should See this Movie” list. My only hesitancy in actually seeing it when it was released was- it’s got an animal in it as a major character and this is likely not a good sign. It was also referred to at the time as "allegorical"- turn off!

I’m still angry over Disney’s original release of “Old Yeller” when I was nine. Movies then cost 25 cents and you got travelogues, newsreels, cartoons, and shorter older comedies like “The Three Stooges.” What’s this? Old Yeller dies? I’m paying for this? It’s a movie for kids? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?

Then it happened again. I read “Charlotte’s Web” when I was about the same age. I couldn’t believe it when Charlotte died! I was and still am devastated. When authors are asked about killing off major characters they always respond in the same way- they must be true to their story and the characters- they MUST kill off this character-even J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.

I say: Malarkey! You’re the author, these characters are fictional, you can do anything you want with them including having them live! I do NOT forget OR forgive!

This movie is a coming of age adventure. A teenager lives with his family in India where they own a zoo.  The father decides they should emigrate to Canada and sell the zoo.  While on a freighter, the tragedy happens- terrible storm and the boat sinks.  The boy ends up on a lifeboat and what follows is the survival of the teen, his maturing from a kid to a survivor, and a bit of a follow-up on his life as an adult.

And yes, a few sad things happen to the animals but you won't find yourself all choked-up a la "Charlotte" or "Old Yeller."

You’ll LOVE it. The ending was a total surprise to me and actually made me think. I may now even read the book. It’s always better to read the book afterwards unlike myself many times over. Let’s see: “The Great Escape” and to “To Kill a Mockingbird" . You can’t help but notice the missing parts/characters no matter how good the movie is, so there is always built-in disappointment. 
If you read the book post movie you are gifted with a more complete story: “The Help” and “Beloved” (a strange book, almost experimental in nature).

“Life of Pi”- it’s a gem. Don’t miss it.  My only criticism is that sometimes the Indian accents were difficult to understand. The computer animation was outstanding and there was only the occassional somewhat jolting heads-up reminder of this (at least for me).  You really don’t HAVE to think afterwards, but you may just want to! Check out other reviews and information AFTERWARDS! Enjoy!!! 

Best for for ?preteen & up, I think.  Animals do eat each other with a minimum of gore (it is about zoo animals after all).
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