When you read a book, you have an image of the story in your head using your own imagination. When that book is developed into a movie, the visuals you see, is that of someone else's imagination, which is possibly why we are so disappointed when we see a movie adaptation of a book, with the common phrase most people hear being: "Have you read the book? It is so much better".
Last night, I had the privilege of attending an advanced screening of the Life of Pi, which is due for release in cinemas on New Year's Day. Let me tell you, the book Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel, is my all time favourite novel. I have lost count the amount of times I've read the book cover to cover.
Naturally, when I first heard my all time favourite book was to be made into a feature film, I was, understandably, very dubious.
The Life of Pi is a story of a young Indian boy that survives a disaster at sea, eventually left alone in a shipwreck with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. This is no ordinary survival story, but one of discovery, faith, tragedy, love, power, and adventure.
The on screen portrayal of the best selling book is visually stunning. We saw the movie in 3D, which, I believe, is essential to fully appreciate the effects of its beauty. The first scenes set in historic French India are breathtaking, moving to scenes of zoo animals which literally pop out of the screen - you want to reach out and touch the beautiful little bird you see in the first few minutes, and sink back into your seat with jumpy scenes of Richard Parker in all his Bengal tiger glory.
Out on the pacific ocean there are times when Pi and Richard Parker are surrounded florescent jelly fish seas, and open skies filled with stars - these scenes are without a doubt, the most stunning of the entire movie.
Pi, throughout the movie, questions his religious beliefs, he is searching for his God; we are left understanding that Pi follows many.
The movie begins and ends with an adult Pi, discussing his story with a journalist, interviewing him with the intention of writing a book on his adventure across the seas. My only tiny criticism, would have been for more flashbacks to present day Pi, seeing the reaction of the journalist as Pi tells his story, and more of Pi's expressions telling his tale of adventure.
I am far from disappointed in Life of Pi's movie adaptation, it is truly spectacular, and I am sure, has done Yann Martel proud.
Life of Pi is a must see, a perfect a way to start 2013.