In Movies

Last night,  I finally got to watch ‘Life of Pi’ with my family.   The fact that I’m from Pondicherry and much of the initial movie is based there made it a compelling factor to watch.

I have heard great reviews from friends and I went in with high expectations. The movie exceeded my expectations by a mile.

Here are my quick thoughts after seeing the movie:

The Computer Graphics are Awesome: There’s one particular scene where the young boy reads an Amar Chitra Katha comic about young Krishna. Its about how an entire universe is seen when he opens his mouth. The transition from the closeup of the comic to showing the expansive universe was astounding.  Or take that under-water shot of Pi’s uncle swimming in the Paris swimming pool.  Or the flying fishes. I could just go on & on.

Skip the DVD:  Never make the mistake of watching the movie on a DVD. Please don’t. Its an insult to the talented creators of the movie. Watch it in large screen. In 3D. The movie comes to life and how!

Proud to be a Pondicherrian:  I hail from a village in Pondicherry and did most of my schooling in the city. I recognized many of the places from the movie. They even showed my school. Its awesome that Ang Lee has stayed true to the book and decided to shoot the scenes here. You should have seen my chest swell with pride.

Want to visit Pondicherry?: The city looks beautiful in the movie. Wonderfully portrayed of the town during the 1960s. If you decide to visit Pondy now, you will be sorely disappointed. The beautiful and quiet French part of the town is now crassly commercialized. The traffic is crazy and noisy.  You are definitely welcome to Pondicherry but take my advice…. Keep your expectations a little low.

The Credit Lines: I stayed back after the movie had finished to watch the credit lines. Even as the last of the movie goers vacated the hall, my eyes were transfixed at the screen hoping to catch the Indian names. I was disappointed at catching only a couple. You would think that a movie entirely based on Indians will have more Indians helping in making the film? Nope. Other than the cast, there were almost no Indians in the production crew. Saw lots of Taiwanese names though.

Want to Read the Book: In 2003, I picked up Yann Martel’s book off a road-side book seller. Even since it won the Booker Prize the previous year, it had become a favorite of the book pirates.  I read the book cover to cover…meaning I only read the two covers. Nothing in between. Somehow I wasn’t interested. Now that I loved the movie, time to dig out that book, dust it and read it.

Watching it Again: Very rarely do I ever watch a movie twice. But this one, I *have* to watch it again. I saw this at Fame Cinemas with a crappy 3D glass that was heavily scratched.  In spite of that, the movie was awesome. This time I’m heading to Satyam Cinemas and want to watch it in Dolby Atmos.

Seen the movie? What are your favorite scenes?