When I finished watching Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, I was so awed at everything that I almost became emotionally drained. Not only was this film viscerally gratifying and emotionally broadening, the cinematography was captivating, the effects were breathtaking, the story mesmerizing, and the message thought-provoking. Luckily, this is a step up for director Ang Lee after his last disappointing 60s piece Taking Woodstock. Life of Pi has definitely been Lee’s greatest achievement in filmmaking since 2005’s Brokeback Mountain and even before that with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In this new film, Lee adapts the 2001 novel of Life of Pi, a journey of survival, faith, hope, and introspection. This moving tale is about an Indian boy named Piscine (nicknamed Pi) living with his family in their zoo. When he reaches his later years, his family decides to move to Canada to start a new life. However, as their cargo ship sets sail into a deadly storm, Pi escapes into the swarming ocean but unfortunately leaves behind his family on a sinking ship. Lost at sea, Pi discovers a Bengal tiger who had escaped from the boat as well. Soon, Pi faces fear and heartbreak, but learns to adapt in his new environment and the ferocious tiger, in which he ultimately learns more about his spirituality and faith in God. Now, some may think that Life of Pi can be cheesy or melodramatic, considering the outrageous circumstances of Pi’s journey, but looking at the film viscerally, one can feel so much emotion and passion, from the beautiful and mesmerizing storytelling paired with the incredible visual effects. Other than the effects and plot, Life of Pi also contained an absolutely engrossing score, as the bewitching tune, “Pi’s Lullaby,” is nominated for Best Original Song. Life of Pi is also nominated for 10 other Academy Awards, including Best Picture. I think it deserves the highest Oscar achievement because Life of Pi teaches the audience so much, not just visually or thematically, but mentally and emotionally. These qualities all apply to Life of Pi being a classic cinematic masterpiece. The survival drama is definitely a frontrunner and a film to be reckoned with at the Oscars. Watch the trailer here.
Recommended: Yes, to everyone. Some scenes may be disturbing for young children, but every person should get to experience it.
Possible Oscar Wins?: Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects