By KIDS FIRST! Film Critics
The raves that are greeting Life of Pi are nothing new for the multiple award-winning director Ang Lee, but part of the credit also goes to advances in technology that enable the film’s special effects.
The story is about young Pi who is moving with his family from India to Canada, where his father will sell the animals from the zoo they had in India. The boat on which they are traveling is shipwrecked by a violent storm, and the survivors eventually whittle down to just Pi and a Bengal tiger. Says KIDS FIRST! critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age 9, “The special effect of the tiger is the best part. It seems so real, I thought that the tiger is actually in the boat with Pi.”
KIDS FIRST! critic Brianna Hope Beaton, age 13, adds, “The visual effects are amazing.” Brianna also cautions that very young children may be a little frightened at some of the animal scenes. As Cheyenne says, “It’s too hard to watch the survival of the fittest.” But both rate the film highly. “I love the message and the visual effects. This is a great story of hope and determination,” says Brianna.
Life of Pi
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
(See her full review on video.)
Life of Pi is the most amazing 3-D-quality movie that shows underwater footage and sea life.
Life of Pi is based on a popular novel by Yann Martel that sold over 7 million copies. It’s about a boy name Piscine Patel, known as “Pi” (Suraj Sharma). He has a good life growing up in his father’s zoo in Pondicherry, a French colony. Due to hard times, they have to close down the zoo and move some of the animals to Canada with them.
The move to Canada is in a big cargo ship, and all the animals are at the bottom of the ship. The big storm hits the ship and sinks the ship. The survivors are Pi, the tiger (Richard Parker), zebra, hyena, orangutan and a rat. They are all in a small lifeboat from the cargo ship. After several days, the only two survivors are Pi and Richard Parker. They are afraid of each other but need each other to survive.
There are so many scenes with great cinematography. The most memorable ones are the underwater footage, and the sinking of the cargo ship is so real and clear. The 3-D brings out the glowing of the jelly fish and the blue whale vividly.
The special effect of the tiger is the best part. It seems so real, I thought that the tiger is actually in the boat with Pi.
The part I did not like is when the animals are fighting each other. It’s too hard to watch the survival of the fittest.
The acting in this movie is so great. Suraj shows a lot of emotions with his eyes, and he stays in his character, and the audience can feel his emotions. It’s so amazing to see his weight loss as the days go by at sea.
My favorite character is Richard Parker. He helps Pi survive the shipwreck and at times he seems more human than creature.
The lesson in this movie is anything is possible. Pi survives over seven months in the Pacific Ocean with just faith and Richard Parker.
I rank this movie four out of five stars
I give this movie an age range of 8 and up.
KIDS FIRST! is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media.