Review: Life of Pi
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Where Life Of Pi becomes unsatisfactory is in its bookends. The epilogue, which shows us the boyhood of Pi, is a little too exotic, the accented English of his mother and father a tad exaggerated, and a dining table conversation a trifle artificial: it's nice to see Tabu back on screen even though her role is small, and her Tamil accent inept. Husain is also given an accent,but he fares better, and stays consistent. Irrfan, as the middle aged Pi who gets to open and close the film, is Irrfan, the go-to guy that internationally acclaimed directors choose for roles such as these. He does his job well, though, and leads us in and out as good actors do.
But the film fares best with the growing relationship of boy and beast (the tiger is skilfully computer generated but has great personality: there are apparently shots of real tigers in the film, though it is very hard to tell between the real and the not-real). And this toss-up between the two is, in a sense, a leitmotif that runs through the film: were Pi and Parker adrift for 227 days (as the novel tells us), or was it just an imagined thread? The tussle between the two, which leads to initial tension and then a life-affirming coming to terms, is what makes the film, this part of it, unforgettable.