Trailer Hopping : Heavy on Looks and Light on Narrative Life of Pi

Rating: No Butter
Posted October 21st, 2012 by popcorn
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In Life of Pi, Ang Lee captured the detail and mundane essence of life from a book about survival, solitude and hallucination using one of his best talents, the ability to transform each and every scene into meticulously colorful scenes that, at times, appear almost holy enough to hear a glorious church choir singing Hallelujah in the background. The trailer showed great focus on visuals and directionally focused on the audience seeing and feeling the spiritual beauty of Pi’s struggle for survival.

Usage of colors and blending together a wide spectrum of hues seemed to be a strong talent of Ang Lee’s. Every object and background scenery is finely selected and crafted, palette by palette, to impressively high standards. The scene with Pi, in dull colors, standing on what looks like red oars, with a contrasting white and red life boat sitting to the right of him, while he’s staring into the bright, distant sunlight gleaming through puffs of floatable clouds and clear blue skies, is absolutely stunning. The scene also displays immaculate attention to detail—look closely to the left of the screen and notice a small ripple effect caused by a small pebble-like object. Every inch of the scene is painted with gorgeous colors. The reflection of the clouds, the boy and the boat are touched with care into one masterpiece.

Every scene after that, with Pi, the tiger and the boat are spectacular visuals worth mentioning at an award show or two. Subsequent flashback scenes are just as beautiful, showing Ang Lee’s austerity to detail at work, with scenes of brightly lit candles reflecting off of hues of pink or red, green and the dark blue seas or the gorgeous colors of the Indian wardrobe.

What’s different about Life of Pi from some of Ang Lee’s other movies is these scenes display simplistic beauty instead of an over-abundance of colors, armies and fancy interior designs and structures. Most of the scenes are just a boy, a tiger and a boat, blending into the peaceful and calm backdrops of the sun and puffy white clouds.

Not only that, Ang Lee seemed to have a sense of focus or purpose on how he wants the audience to watch this movie. The scenes seemed to be staged with the viewer far from Pi, where the audience is an outsider observing Pi’s solitude from a far distance. This is shown in such scenes as the scene where Pi stuffs a note into a can and tosses the can into the ocean, showing the can closest to the viewer and not from the perspective of Pi himself or his throwing arm.

Although Ang Lee seemed to carry his usual flare for impressive visuals and intense focus on goal or purpose in Life of Pi, the story itself seems to be dull and humdrum in comparison to how it looks.

Life of Pi is scheduled to open on November 21, 2012. It stars Suraj Sharma as the central Pi Patel character with older Pi, Irrfan Khan and younger Pi, Ayush Tandon and Gautam Belur. Gerard Depardieu appears in the film as the Frenchman. Other cast members include Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Shravanthi Sainath, Andre Di Stefano, and Ayan Khan, to name a few.

Life of Pi Trailer:
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