Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Book to Film Review: Life of Pi + Giveaway

About the film
Life of Pi is an adventure/ drama film that was released in 2012 and based on Yann Martel’s book of the same name. The film has a run time of 127 minutes and a rating of PG.

As an immigrant to Canada, Piscine Patel attracts the attention of a novelist who has heard about his story from his ‘uncle’ back in India. With the hopes that the story would make a good novel, the writer asks Piscine to tell him his story.

Piscine (later shortened to Pi due to being picked on at school) lives with his family in India, where his mother and father run and own a local zoo. However, the family do not own the land the zoo sits on and when it is going to be bought, Pi’s father decides to move everyone and the animals from the zoo to Canada. After booking passage on a Japanese ship, the family get ready for their new life. Devastation strikes while travelling across the seas though and a massive storm hits, leaving Pi alone on a lifeboat along with an injured zebra, an orangutan and Richard Parker, an adult Bengal tiger.

The film follows Pi on his adventures on the lifeboat and his journey back to civilisation.

Suraj Sharma as Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, age 16
Irfan Khan as Pi, adult
Ayush Tandon as Pi, age 11/12
Gautam Belur as Pi, age 5
Tabu as Gita Patel, Pi's mother
Adil Hussain as Santosh Patel, Pi's father
Gérard Depardieu as the Cook
Bo-Chieh Wang as the Sailor
Rafe Spall as the Writer
Shravanthi Sainath as Anandi, Pi's teenage girlfriend
Andrea Di Stefano as the Priest
Vibish Sivakumar as Ravi Patel, Pi's older brother, age 18/19
Mohamed Abbas Khaleeli as Ravi, age 15
Ayan Khan as Ravi, age 7

What I thought
As I have a Cineworld Unlimited Card, I was able to go to an advance screening of this film in Nottingham on 10th December. Although I have not read the book, the trailers for the film made it look fantastic and I was really looking forward to seeing it. I also saw this in 3D due to it being how the advance screening was being shown.

Life of Pi begins with Pi, now a middle aged man meeting with a novelist in his home in Canada. The novelist had been writing in India when he scrapped his work, deciding to start over. By meeting Pi’s ‘uncle’, he hears about an amazing story which he instantly thinks could work as a novel. Pi begins to tell the novelist about his life in India and how he came to live in Canada. The beginning of the film sets the scene perfectly by showing how Pi grew up, where he got his name from and also how he and his family lived.

As the story continues, Pi grows up a bit, finds religion and love and his life is extremely interesting. He definitely doesn’t have the normal life of any other boy in India. I really enjoyed the actors who play Pi throughout the film but especially Suraj Sharma who plays the role for the most part of the film. At age 16, Pi and his family want to move to Canada and this is where the film gets interesting. Their ship hits a massive storm and Pi finds himself all alone in the sea – apart from a zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger. The young man playing this role really throws himself into it and is able to really show emotion well. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, not knowing how he is going to survive, fear was his first feeling. Along the way, sadness, hope, loss of hope and anticipation also kick in.

Pi encounters all kinds of problems while at sea, mostly with Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger who is determined to make the boat his own home. Obviously, he does eventually make it back to land otherwise he wouldn’t be telling his story to someone else, so while a large amount of the film is set at sea, not all of it is. The changes in setting were great and really broke up the monotony of seeing the same thing for such a long length of time. The whole story is beautifully told and made me feel a whole range of things while watching it.

In 3D, this film is a visual masterpiece. I’m not normally the biggest fan of 3D but with this film, I think you would miss out on a whole lot if you didn’t see it this way. With the bright and beautiful colours of India mixed with the exotic animals in the zoo and Pi’s life when he is at sea, there is so much to look at, at all times during this film. You can experience tiny birds flying out into the cinema, feeling like they are flapping their wings right in front of your face. The 3D effects on this film were so fantastic that I even jumped a few times because things ended up looking as though they were straight in front of my face. I don’t think I have ever, or will see again for a long time, a film as visually stunning as this one.

Although not a complex story, or a film with a massive cast, Life of Pi is one of the best films I have seen this year. It is a film that will make you feel things you won’t expect, react at things you would never think of reacting to and it is also just a wonderful story. 

I have two movie posters to give away!! The posters are double sided so you'll be able to choose which picture you want up on your wall. The giveaway will run until New Years Day and two winners will be picked afterwards. Good luck!

*Updated 21/12/12*
I have decided to throw in a copy of the book to one winner as well as the poster! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ah, I love your post, Lyndsey! I am so freakin' excited to watch it. Especially in 3D! Also, you should read the book--I'm about half-way through and it's really good :)

  2. I haven't read Life Of Pi, but I've heard the movie is really good. Plus, your awesome review has made me want to watch it! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  3. I just bought a copy of the book. I'm planning to read it before the movie comes out! <3

  4. I've been meaning to buy Life of Pi! Planning to get it for Christmas ;)

  5. I was a little unsure about watching this because I'm a little wary of the effects? But I loved the book and I'm really curious to see how it would look as a film. I think I saw it was rated PG, but do you think my 7 year old would enjoy it?

    1. I think 7 year old boys would love it! It's quite the adventure film

  6. Thanks for the giveaway Lyndsey. It looks like a fabulous book. I haven't seen the film yet.

  7. I haven't read the book YET but I'm in love with the film trailer and have been dying to see it since I saw the trailer! Planning to go next week :)

  8. Haven't yet read the book but I thought the film was visually stunning - especially in 3D - my kids were totally transfixed!

  9. following on Twitter @mister_steven

  10. I haven't read the book yet so am very much hoping to win a copy. My daughter has been begging me to take her to see the film.