‘Life of Pi’ is moving, visually stunning in 3-D



By Dave Steele

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Inside the gates of a suburban zoo in India, Piscine Patel helps his mother and father raise their exotic array of animals.

After being called “Pissing Patel” by his classmates, he decides to change his name to Pi in honor of his mathematical talents.

Raised as a Hindu, Pi struggles to associate his earthly endeavors with the teachings of his faith. After a bet to drink holy water goes sour and he stumbles upon a Catholic church, Pi finds himself coming back again and again in hopes of quenching his curiosities.

Realizing that practicing multiple faiths is intriguing, Pi decides to throw Islam into the mix to make his journey of faith a well-rounded one.

When his family decides that the zoo can no longer sustain itself financially, they opt to sell all of the animals and move to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to begin a new life.

In order to cut costs, the Patels embark on a Japanese freight ship along with the animals they intend to sell.

In the middle of the night, Pi is woken by what he believes to be thunder and heads to the deck for a better look.

Much to his dismay, Pi discovers that the ship is actually sinking, fast.

After several attempts to save his family fail, Pi is forced to board a lifeboat with another survivor, an adult Bengal tiger.

“Life of Pi” is a beautiful journey of faith, survival and the human spirit.

The depth and intrigue of its metaphors are matched only by the film’s breathtaking visual grandeur.

Director Ang Lee extracts meaning and purpose from the smallest of details, bringing audiences to a heightened sense of awareness in regard to their own faith.

In a market drowning in 3-D ticket prices that are a reach more often than not, “Life of Pi” breathes new life into the widely criticized technology with a stunning aura of light and color.

For once, those 3-D hipster goggles that come with an $11 ticket actually do their part.

Not since “Avatar” has a film’s stage been so immense and hypnotic.

Lead actor Suraj Sharma has a breakout rookie performance that is sure to earn him all kinds of nominations.

His conviction and curiosity are as believable as they are relatable.

This film will break your heart and piece it back together again and again before the final act.

“Life of Pi’s” greatest strength is how it blurs the divisive lines of organized religion and dwells on an idea that spirituality shouldn’t be a concrete checklist of guilt, but more an internal journey of discovery.

If you need a spiritual pick-me-up that will fill you up but won’t weigh you down, this film will certainly deliver.