Monday, November 26, 2012

Life of Pi

Let me skip to the end.  I didn't like Life of Pi.  Didn't hate it; just didn't like it very much.

There has been all kinds of publicity for Life of Pi, and until this past weekend, all of it was pre-opening publicity and should have been discounted.  In fact, based on the previews alone, I wasn't going to go see it. Then I saw reviews from a few critics I respect, namely Roger Ebert and David Edelstein, who encouraged me to not only go see Life of Pi, but to see it in 3D.  I generally avoid 3D, but since they said it was such an integral part of the movie, I sought out a 3D screen.

The 3D, in fact, was effective and subtle, which is a nice change.  What I didn't like was the story.  Life of Pi was told from the perspective of the adult Pi (I assure you that's not a spoiler) so there was no real suspense that he survives a shipwreck, but there were a million other variables in the way the story could told, and I thought the storytelling was a bit flat.  It was also fighting some huge religious baggage. Not that that is an automatic disqualifier - I'm not a religious person but I can watch religious movies all day long if they're entertaining.  No, the baggage just muddled the story a bit. I think the filmmakers tried to toe several lines and crossed some of them too many times - religion, hallucinations, morals, special effects.

Life of Pi will be fine for many moviegoers but for some of us, it needed to be much more.


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