An Indian teenage boy named Pi Patel (played by first-timer Suraj Sharma) is cast adrift in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a huge Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. How Pi and Richard got there and what happens next makes one of the most thrilling cinematic shipwreck adventures of all time – but we have to be able to let it go at that and enjoy director Ang Lee’s 3D spectacle on only that one lonely level. The visual magic is quite astounding. The plot itself, adapted by screenwriter David Magee from the novel by Yann Martel, could fit into two sentences. And we find ourselves waiting for a third act that never arrives. Better to just admire the grandiose images for their wowie-zowie-ness. Enthusiasts of filmmaker Lee’s meatier dramas (Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm
) may well feel they’re being treated to a shaggy tiger story. Costarring Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, and Gérard Depardieu. (127 min.)
See our full review:
Talk to the animals.