This movie will receive some awards, especially one aCATemy award for best animal in a motion picture. I would really like to know how Director, Ang Lee, got this Bengal Tiger to act out some of the scenes in this motion picture, which had to be among the greatest challenges ever for a director.
This is a story told in flashback by the adult character in later life, of when he was a 14 year-old Indian boy, troubled by religious identity, who traveled with his parents and a boat full of zoo animals to Canada, only to be capsized during a violent storm. Naturally, the boy survived in one of the lifeboats, along with a number of other animals, each of which are destroyed by one another until the only living survivor is Richard Parker, a Bengal tiger – a very hungry Bengal tiger.
The initial days of survival are harrowing best, as Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) contends with a crowded boat consisting of an injured zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and the tiger. Pi manages to construct a tethered raft for his own survival, but ocean storms bring an end to his safety, as the tiger rises as the only survivor among the animals.
The drift at sea lasts 227 days during which the boy and the tiger establish a relationship much like Tom Hanks’ connection to the volleyball “Wilson.” in Castaway, only Wilson was non-threatening. The tiger gave us a number of menacing scenes.
This was a remarkable achievement for Ang Lee who will likely be nominated for Best Director. The cinematography is spectacular, certain to win in that category. While some of the fantasy action is a bit implausible, it is worth a movie ticket for anyone who loves suspense, adventure, animals and great photography.
I give it 8 ½