Adventure Drama Movies

Life of Pi – Beautiful to watch but hugely overrated as a movie

Life of PiLife of Pi by Ang Lee on Blu-ray
My rating: 4 out of 10 stars

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

I did not have huge expectations on this movie since it is not exactly my style of movie but nevertheless I have to say that I was disappointed. The movie is certainly quite beautiful to watch, at least part of it. However it is also a movie with a strong theistic agenda. Even though it is, luckily, not really religious/political extremism it is thick and intruding nonetheless. I was expecting Pi to actually learn something during the course of his adventure but he does not. He starts the movie gullible and foolish looking for meaning in life (religion) and the movie ends pretty much in the same way with him claiming that he had faith and therefore he survived. Yet none of the decisions he made was based on faith but simply pragmatical decisions of survival. If anything the movie proved that faith or religion had nothing to do with it.

As I said the movie was, partly, quite beautiful to watch and this is entirely what rendered it the stars that I gave it. For the rest it was a very boring movie. The only mildly entertaining part was the scenes on the boat with Gérard Depardieu playing the very unpleasant cook. As beautiful to watch as they were many of the scenes were quite unrealistic though and had an artificial look to them even when, I believe, it was not intended. We bought the movie because my youngest daughter loves movies about animals but not even she was overly entertained by this movie.

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6 comments

  1. “A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.”

    I don’t think you got the movie at all.

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    1. The text you quoted was not mine but the description of the movie on IMDb. You see that was why it was in quote format in the first place.

      Feel free to tell IMDb that you think they haven’t gotten the movie at all though :-).

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        1. Well, I think we are simply having a difference in personal taste here. I was not to thrilled with this movie and I am sure you are not too thrilled over a lot of movies that I might like.

          I am happy that you, and many with you, liked the movie. It would be a boring world if everyone was exactly the same after all.

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  2. I was very disappointed in this movie. It plays on the West’s fascination with all things Eastern, that, somehow, Indians have an inside track on Nature and Spirituality, yet there was no real story, no character arc, no “bond” develops between the boy and the tiger – the boy just tames a half-starved tiger in a lifeboat. That’s it. I didn’t buy any of the “deep meaning” and “spiritual import” that Lee was trying to shove down our throats. Sure, the movie was visually beautiful, and technically impressive, but those technical details do not MAKE a great movie, they SUPPORT one. Without an interesting story and a sympathetic character who goes through real change – or tries and fails – then all the technical prowess in the world is an empty shell. (btw – I didn’t like “Brokeback Mountain”, either, probably for many of the same reasons. Though “Crouching Tiger” was amazing.)

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