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FLICKS: Life of Pi & Hitchcock

Posted on 20 December 2012 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


Based on the best-selling book by Yann Martel, The Life of Pi has been honored by The Golden Globes with three nominations – Best Picture, Best Score and Best Direction. Given his previous work (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Director Ang Lee is the perfect director to tell this simple story with amazing visual symbolism.

As a child growing up in India, Pi lives in zoo run by his parents. When finances dwindle, Pi’s family is forced to relocate the animals to Canada via boat. During rough weather, the ship sinks and the only survivor is the vegetarian Pi and the carnivorous tiger. In order to survive, the man and the beast must learn to share a small lifeboat for 227 days while cast adrift on the Pacific Ocean.

At 127 minutes, The Life of Pi opens at a leisurely pace with much humor. As the drama unfolds, the humor remains with a touch of danger. Like a good episode of The Twilight Zone or an O. Henry short story, the conclusion raises more questions about the nature of reality.

Based on Stephen Rebello’s excellent book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of “Psycho,” Hitchcock recycles the story, but puts emphasis on Hitchcock’s (Sir Anthony Hopkins) inspirations and psychic relationship with serial killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott).

This film suffers from some historical errors, but director Sacha Gervasi captures the spirit of a typical Hitchcock flick. The film is a roller coaster ride from scares to laughs, though the domestic drama is a bit heavyhanded.

Merry Christmas!

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