Life of Pi: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Life of Pi

New York Film Festival 2012: Life of Pi


At first glance, Ang Lee’s latest—about a gentle Indian teen shipwrecked with a tiger—seems like a distinctly modern mélange of bleeding-edge digital technology (its churning ocean storms make Titanic look like a bargain-basement Godzilla sequel) and Oprah-approved spiritual uplift. But after a closer look, the takeaway is old-school craft: Lengthy suspense sequences vibrate with visual tension between animal and man—a claustrophobia worthy of Jaws. The whole thing feels intentionally abstract, the placid waves and deep stares hitting a metaphysical nail too squarely on the head. But if you go with it, the riches are undeniable. The movie is nothing like any of Lee’s earlier efforts (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain), and I defy anyone to make that argument. But as a step toward the tricked-out mainstream go, it’s smart.—Joshua Rothkopf

Showtimes and tickets for Life of Pi

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