sun 21/04/2024

DVD: Life of Pi | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Life of Pi

DVD: Life of Pi

Not for newcomers, the DVD of the film of the book has so many extras, it could ruin the magic

Life of Pi: the best SFX in the industryThe eternal sun and sea of Life of Pi, now on DVD

It’s hard to imagine that anyone on earth has yet to see Ang Lee’s four-times Oscar-winning Life of Pi, the sensational SFX adventure based on Yan Martel’s hitherto unfilmable spiritual classic. But, along with Skyfall, there are reasons why anyone would want to own a film they’ve already seen at least once: it’s a visuall -soothing if existentially unsettling portrait of trauma and loss told by a master storyteller.

Suraj Sharma stars as Pi Patel, a young man shipwrecked while immigrating to Canada with his family and the family zoo. Whether he survives in mid-ocean depends on the actions of Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger who shares his lifeboat as they drift. Told in flashback (we know Pi survives as he’s played by the sensational Irrfan Khan), the astounding tale is told using the best SFX in the industry for its year, a superb live action cast and four real tigers used for approximately a quarter of total tiger screen time.

Life of Pi is a technical masterpiece as a theatrical release. With two multi-disc packages from which to choose, Life of Pi for home viewing piles on the features, with over 90 minutes of "the making of" featurettes, as well as a take on special effects, a look at tigers and an overview of the project for those who aren’t quite sure they’re watching the right thing. Along with the image gallery and storyboards (always a terrific thing to see for any film), there are deleted scenes and VFX "progressions" for others. In essence, it's better to own this DVD after you've seen the film on the big screen as the extras could possibly ruin its movie magic. As expected – and required – of a DVD release, Life of Pi is technically superb in both sound and vision, meaning that it will show off the beauty of your home cinema specs, or show where your system could be improved. And don’t forget: it contains 25 percent real tiger.

Four real tigers are used for approximately a quarter of total tiger screen time

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