Where to begin? Having bought Yann Martel’s ‘The Life of Pi’ after seeing the promising trailers in November, I was stoked to finally watch Ang Lee’s film having finished the novel. They say that a film is never as good as the book, but in this case, the movie completely and utterly discredited the book. I began to wonder, as I watched the film, if I had misread half of the novel. The long days an hours on the lifeboat, looked like a week. The difficulty of training Richard Parker was scaled down. The experience on the island was much darker in the book. Also, the explanations behind the activities in the island were either neglected or different to Martel’s. And what, may I ask, happened to the sea turtles. 

Yes the special effects were incredible, but the contrast between a beautiful set and rough acting along with a script, which simply did not do justice to the book, made the film a glorified nature advertisement. The Guardian considered the film to be a ‘shallow and self-important shaggy-dog story – or shaggy-tiger story’ (Brad Shaw, December 2012), awarding the film a two-star rating. Incredibly, everyone has still been buzzing about the movie!

To the reader: If you are looking for some magical and hallucinatory entertainment, then this film might suit your needs, as it does to the best of its technical ability, translate peace and beauty of nature. But for those of you who appreciate literature and film, and have read the book, I hope this review has prepared you for the anticlimactic interpretation.

So, a scathing review from Label Culture, but do you agree? Post your opinions below or find us on Twitter @labelonline


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