Flickchart Preview: Life of Pi
The impending arrival of Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi is something I’ve been peripherally aware of for a while, buoyed by one simple image: A mostly stark movie poster featuring a young man and a Bengal tiger adrift on a small boat on a featureless sea. It’s only as the movie’s release approaches that I’ve looked further into it and realized what this film might be.
I watch the trailer and discover a truly epic-looking disaster at sea, a personal fight for survival, and a technicolor whale. Critics are already bandying about phrases like “the next Avatar“, which brings to my mind a few things: high adventure, striking visuals, and color. Lots of color. Life of Pi seems possessed of these things, though perhaps not to such Avatar-ish extremes.
Ang Lee is a filmmaker who does not like to repeat himself. Take a look at his list of films on Flickchart and you find a martial-arts film, an ensemble drama, a period comedy…a big-budget superhero popcorn movie. He’s a man who likes to experiment, to keep his filmmaking fresh, and Flickcharters respect that. Here are just a few things that Flickchart users have to say about Lee’s films:
“…I had high expectactions going into [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] and even those were exceeded. Amazing acting, great characters, beautiful cinematography…there’s nothing I didn’t like about CTHD.” – user cdogzilla, in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vs. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
“…Lust, Caution was such an immaculate and affecting drama, despite being more conventional. In the end, that central romance is so strong, it makes the difference.” – user dg_greenwood in Lust, Caution vs. Lady Vengeance.
“Hulk is bleak, which I feel is the biggest reason it gets completely crapped on by everyone out there. I liked that bleakness and how it was more of a family drama than [the] simple smash’em that [The] Incredible Hulk turned out to be. Say what you want about Ang Lee’s Hulk, but it is perhaps the most unique out of these two films, not to mention more memorable.” – user movieguyjon in The Incredible Hulk vs. Hulk.
Life of Pi is adapted from a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel, and recounts the story of the title character surviving 227 days after being shipwrecked alongside a Bengal tiger. Tales of survival can make for compelling filmmaking, and the title character’s attempt to befriend a ferocious tiger just might be much more interesting than Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball (and hey, I like Cast Away).
I’ve been an opponent of 3D among my fellow Flickcharters, but I have to admit that Life of Pi seems like a movie that could make good use of the technology. Of course, even the “king of the world” himself, James Cameron, has heaped praise on Ang Lee’s vision and use of 3D:
Life of Pi is ready for everybody to rank on Flickchart when it hits theaters Wednesday.