Boxing Day last year saw the release of Midnight’s Children, the film adaptation of a much loved novel. It was a proper old fashioned yarn about a boy growing up in a romanticised India before embarking on a fantastical journey full of the wonder and magic of human experience.
It was terrible.
All that cinema audiences would have needed to do to see how this could have been done properly was cross the foyer to a screen showing the sublime Life of Pi. This film is beautiful, using amazing CGI seascapes and creatures in a way that should make James Cameron ashamed of himself. Where Cameron’s visual spectacular Avatar failed so hideously was its total failure to back up any of the pretty pictures with any kind of decent story. This is what Life of Pi get so so right because it is all about the story. Coming away from the film that is what has stayed with me, not the amazing effects sequences as a school of flying fish bounce across the ocean or a million meerkats scurry over an herbaceous atoll but the wonderful, engaging, captivating story. Clearly the credit here goes to Yann Martel who wrote the book but they have done it credit with the film. Life of Pi was a late entry in lots of the media’s films of 2012 and deservedly so.
Is this one for the kids?
Well it is a PG but I would say it is at the higher end of this classification. It is quite distressing in places and while children may enjoy the (nearly) perfect CGI animals they may not be so enamoured when they start eating each other. A couple of the big fish could give more sensitive children bad dreams too.