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'Life of Pi' has stunning visuals and great narrative

By Rahul Darwar
On December 3, 2012

The five-day Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most lucrative times of the year for movie studios. Advertisers work really hard to get you to go see their movie since there are so many options at the theater. One of the ads for "Life of Pi" said that it was the "next Avatar," and I have to say I partially agree.
From the moment "Life of Pi" starts rolling, you're in for a great visual experience. Everything from the opening credits to the closing credits is exceptionally well done, and I have to say the movie had the best opening credits I have ever seen. This movie, about the survival of an Indian boy, Pi and the Bengal tiger from his family's zoo named Richard Parker, after a shipwreck is a true masterpiece. The beginning of the movie perfectly captures the India of the 1960s, and the scenes out on the open ocean make you wonder if this movie was actually shot in the Pacific and not in a studio. Academy Award winning director Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Brokeback Mountain") is able to simulate a wide variety of settings and events with CGI making it impossible to tell where the visual effects end and where reality begins. The Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, who is in a majority of the scenes looks ridiculously real, and I was definitely shocked when I found out that a real tiger was only used in around 14 percent of the shots. The main character of the film, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel (played by newcomer Suraj Sharma) was funny, intelligent and some of the spiritual questions he brings up really makes you question how you see religion. Nowadays movies either have a good story or good visuals, but "Life of Pi" is one of those rare movies that has a good story and good visuals.
I doubt that "Life of Pi" will ever be as big as "Avatar" at the box office, but out of all the movies I have seen between "Avatar" and now, "Life of Pi" comes closest to "Avatar" in visual and special effects. In some parts I thought "Life of Pi "actually had better 3D. Even though the middle of the movie is slightly dragged out, "Life of Pi" is a fantastic movie that should be experienced in 3D at the theater to fully take in the stunning CGI and visual effects. Trust me, the extra $6 for 3D is well worth it.

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