Life of Pi

by Kevin Taft

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday March 20, 2013

The ambitious and dazzling "Life of Pi" won its director the Oscar at this year's Oscar celebration, and deservedly so. An impossible-to-adapt book, Ang Lee has created a lovely and epic film that uses all of what filmmaking has to offer and displays it on screen. Despite the overriding "this story will make you believe in God" theme, the film can be relatable to everyone as the book was one on philosophy. It isn't about God, it's about creating history in order to deal with heartache. It's about the value of life: human vs. animal. It's about our life's journey and who, ultimately, is responsible for it. It's about connection, hope, struggle, and eventually, peace. It's about a lot of things, so to diminish it by saying it's anything less is not doing Yann Martel's story justice. While "Argo" is a terrific film, "Life of Pi" is astonishingly crafted and probably deserved the win for Best Picture.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the fascinating Special Features included on the Blu-ray disc.The Behind the Scenes featurette contains three segments:

  • "Remarkable Vision," "Epic Journey," and "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright." It's an absolutely compelling look at how the film was made from the casting of unknown Suraj Sharma as Pi, to the gorgeous locations, to the creation of the almost flawless CGI animals. There is a point where the filmmakers show us one scene where shots of the real tiger were intercut with the CGI tiger and it's impossible to tell them apart. In fact, a side-by-side comparison made it look like the real tiger was the CGI one. Amazing stuff.

  • There is a "Stills: Gallery" with gorgeous concept art by four different artists, and a "Stills: Storyboards" feature that allows you to look at a variety of scenes from the storyboard perspective.

    While this review is of the 2D Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo disc, there is a 3D version that includes Deleted Scenes on top of a 3D version of the film. Regardless, this is a must-have for your Blu-ray collection. Even in 2D, the visuals look incredible in Hi-Def and the extras are absolutely worth watching. What a way to learn about filmmaking and the art of CGI!

    "Life of Pi"
    Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo


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    Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.