I should be the last few in the world watching this Oscar nominated movie “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee. I had to see the movie this week as Fame Cinemas was one of the few remaining screens in Chennai who continue to show the movie. Since the movie had been out for few months, the audience were thin with quite a few children.
The movie is based on a novel by the same name by a Canadian Author Yann Martel who won Man Booker prize for the novel. The story is about a young boy surviving in Pacific Ocean on a small boat along with a Bengal Tiger for many months. The boy hails from a family in Pondicherry running a Zoo there who are travelling to Canada along with all their animals in a Japanese freight ship. The film opens with lovely scenes of a zoo in Pondicherry, the animals there and beautiful kolams by Tabu, all accompanied by great playback singing of Bombay Jayashri in her Oscar nominated composition. The 1950s Pondicherry and French corridor are shown vividly. I enjoyed the scene where the boy reads Amar Chitra Kadha comics on Krishna hiding inside his blanket with a torchlight. Being 3D some of the scenes, especially the paradise island comes to life in front of us easily.
The scenes on the open ocean though the cruz of the story, could have been a bit shorter. The survival struggle reminded me of another recent movie 127 Hours.
It is unbelievable that this is the first movie for actor Suraj Sharma, he brings to life the character of young Pi. His act was outstanding on the scenes he interacts with the tiger. Though he appears only at both ends of the movie, I liked Irrfan Khan’s performance & role, which acts as the spindle for the whole movie.
Even though it was opened little less than two years ago I found Fame Cinema (Chennai) and Chandra Mall to be wanting on maintenance. I don’t know what’s wrong in India, why can’t we have the discipline to maintain infrastructure we build – is it because businesses don’t generate money to afford it or its because of the indifference of the public using them?