All member reviews for Life of Pi

Common Sense Media says

Beautiful, emotional, intense story of faith and friendship.
 

Users say

(out of 117 reviews)
age 11+
 
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Parent Written byShivom Oza November 20, 2012
age 12+
 

Life Of Pi (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – Gorgeous But Less-Than-Gratifying

‘Life Of Pi’ is based on the novel written by Yann Martel. The film revolves around a young Indian boy Pi’s experience of being stranded on a lifeboat with a ferocious Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, for months. The film is an absolute must-watch, just for the visuals. The film is studded with gorgeous visuals, from the opening credits right up till the climactic sequence. Director Ang Lee, along with his team, should be lauded for having the vision to conceive, and execute, such mind-blowing sequences. Performances, most notably Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Ayush Tandon and Tabu, are stupendous. The climax is a let-down. The film should have gotten over 20 minutes before it eventually did. The director chooses to stick to the author’s version of the ending, which was the weakest point in the book. As an adaptation, the film is very good. In isolation, it’s a good film. The ‘by-the-end-of-the-story-you-will-believe-in-God’ peg doesn’t make the cut. Anyhow, the film is definitely worth a watch for the actors, Ang Lee, the visuals and the Royal Bengal tiger! The film starts with the older Pi (Irrfan Khan) narrating instances from his childhood to a writer (Rafe Spall). The writer is looking for a story for his new novel. The writer is told by Pi’s French uncle (Gérard Depardieu) that Pi’s story will make him believe in God. So, here they are. The two discuss Pi’s childhood at length. Revelations about the secret behind Pi’s name (which is a shortened version of the French name Piscine Molitor Patel‎), his discovery of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, his first encounter with the 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger, unusually named Richard Parker, his first brush with love and much more. Pi then moves on to narrate the actual life-changing story to the writer. Pi’s family, comprising his father (Adil Hussain), mother (Tabu), brother (Vibish Sivakumar) and him, run a zoo at Pondicherry. Post the emergency during the 1970s, Pi’s father decides to move with the family to Canada, where he can hope for a better future. While the land at the zoo never belonged to the Patel family, the animals did. So, the family set aboard on a ship to Canada, and accompanying them are zebras, orang-utans, hyenas, the horrific Richard Parker among others. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the ship sinks owing to a storm taking down with it Pi’s family and most of the animals. Pi survives by the scruff of his neck. He hangs on to a lifeboat in the middle of this turbulent weather. His expert swimming skills, which were taught to him by his French uncle, do come in handy over here! By the next morning, Pi wakes up to find a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena and with them Richard Parker on the boat. The tiger ends up killing all the three animals, leaving Pi stranded all alone to fend for himself. The rest of the film is about how Pi survives all odds to survive in the middle of the enormous ocean with a lone raft and a lifeboat with a tiger. The film is as much about Pi’s self-discovery and his bonding with the tiger as it is about the triumph of human spirit! While the story, in itself, doesn’t take your breath away, the stunning visuals most definitely do. All the discrepancies in the plot are subsided by the sheer gorgeousness of the film. Yes, the film doesn’t overwhelm you as much as you’d have liked. In the sense that you don’t really get that uplifting feeling in the end as you would while watching any other ‘triumph-of-human-spirit’ film. The climactic scenes just don’t gel with the rest of the film which is a pity, considering the first hour-and-a-half of the film is so superb! Performances are pretty much the life of the film. The cast, filled with Indian actors, delivers astoundingly well. Irrfan Khan, although a bit wayward with the accent, just blows your mind with his godly acting skills. Tabu’s short but significant role makes you feel that the Hindi film industry just doesn’t deserve this gem of a performer. Ayush Tandon, who plays Pi’s younger version, too is an absolute delight to watch on screen. Adil Hussain is bang-on, yet again. He gets just about everything right, be it the limp, the Gujarati accent, the Tamil diction, the angst-ridden family man portrayal. Even though his role is quite short, in terms of length, the character stays with you long after you’ve watched the film. Suraj Sharma is a genius. He manages to get everything right, be it the dialogue, expressions, body language, mannerisms! It’s his debut on-screen appearance but it just doesn’t show. Suraj’s performance is truly applause-worthy (and hopefully awards-worthy as well!). Ang Lee’s vision is beyond the realms of anyone’s imagination. Some of the scenes in the film, for instance, the opening credits, the Krishna-Yashoda solar system sequence, the island sequence towards the end and all the ocean sequences, are simply mind-blowing. David Magee does a decent job of the screenplay. Mychael Danna’s score is one of the best among Hollywood films that have released this year. The composer has also worked on ‘Monsoon Wedding’, ‘Water’ among other India-based films, so the connection with our music worked very well. The score can be listened to on loop, for hours at end. In the film, it tailors in seamlessly. One major problem with this film is that the director hasn’t rectified what went wrong in the novel. The scenes involving Pi and the tiger are magnificent looking and equally gripping. However, they do overstay their welcome. The length of the film, in addition to the less-than-gratifying climax, does let this film down a bit. ‘Life Of Pi’ is a wonderful story about the triumph of human spirit. The ending was quite ordinary. Go for the film anyway. It's not a masterpiece, but it is pretty close. Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bylive2teach November 24, 2012
age 10+
 

Enlightening Movie

I think this was a beautiful movie about faith, preserverance and hope. It had a great message about different faiths and how a young boy begins life with such trust and wonder, It teaches that even though we have great disappointment in life, we should never lose hope or our faith. We are a lot stronger than we think we are. It also teaches friendship in an unlikely source, a tiger. It brings together two very different souls that depend on each other for survival. Truly amazing to watch. 3D images had me wonderstruck! Some of the scenes of the storms are intense, but if you have a mature child, it should be okay. I brought my 10 year old son to see it and he loved it. We definately had some good disussion afterwards.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byDad of preteens November 22, 2012
age 12+
 

Beware of intense animal violence.

I am okay with the "official" review as given, except I believe they take the intensity of animal violense a bit lightly. The multiple scenes of animal violence and killing are "right before your eyes" and very intense. My 11 yr old daughter was horrified as each scene played out. I realize that kids need to learn that wild animals will be wild animals, I'm just saying these scenes are violent and intense and suggest maybe age 12 and above rather than 10 and above.. Also, the despair of being adrift in the open Pacific is intense for a child and, as stated in another review, the movie probably overstays itself by several minutes and could have been brought to an end sooner.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byEskimoMom November 25, 2012
age 16+
 

Too much violence for kids

My son is 12.5. We had to walk out mid-movie because of the scenes that were too scary for him to watch. First they showed a lion killing a goat. Then they showed a shipwreck with Pi's parents getting killed. Then they showed a hiena killing a zebra. When the hiena was getting ready to kill a cute chimpanzee my kid had enough and said, I gotta get out of here
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bypi'd of parent December 28, 2012
age 18+
 

NOT FOR CHILDREN

I brought my two children to it we sat through the father feeding a live goat to a tiger to teach the boy a lesson, a hyena disemboweling a zebra and the final straw at which stage my two teary eyed children could take no more and we left was the hyena savaging PI's orangutan. Not what the advert we saw would have lead me to think the film was like AT ALLLLLLL.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byAspi November 23, 2012
age 13+
 

Intense

This movie is intense, gripping, emotional and has great messages around religion, faith, rationality and finding yourself. It is way too disturbing to be rated PG.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old November 23, 2012
age 15+
 

wasnt really impressed

WAY TOO MUCH VIOLENCE! on a sail boat Pi loses his family and cries because the ship sank and there is alot of yelling throughtout this movie and alot of zoo animals drown in the water. On the life boat the hyena eats a zebra that has been suffering with a broken leg and tears it apart while its still alive. Later the hyena eats the chimp and then the tiger eats the hyena. there are a few very sad parts and i cried twice in this movie. Good story afterall, but i wouldbt really reccomend this to anyone whos looking for a nice movie to watch.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bycrunchymom November 25, 2012
age 14+
 

Not for young children! Mother murdered, animals eaten alive.

This is an amazing book turned movie. I was surprised to hear that it was geared for children when thinking back to the book scenes of animals attacking the boy and each other (killing each other) and also the talked about murder of his mother and fellow cast aways. The movie had many tense scenes clearly, but the violence between animals and talk of murders is too much for anyone younger than high school age. It is worth the filming once they are older and can understand it more.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byJAH123 December 11, 2012
age 15+
 

10 is WAY too young - not for animal lovers

While I usually agree with CS reviews (and sometimes even think they are a little conservative), I think they are WAY off on this one. The very graphic depiction of animals suffering and then being eaten (while still alive) is extremely violent and disturbing. I would suggest skipping this movie for animal lovers of any age. I also think the deeper messages of the movie are easily lost on kids below the age of about 15. The cinematography is beautiful, but for our family, it was appreciated mostly from between our fingers because our hands were ever ready to cover our eyes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old May 3, 2013
age 12+
 

Worst movie ever

Its was terrible!
Kid, 11 years old January 1, 2013
age 11+
 

SHOULD YOU SEE IT

life of pi is a positive movie of faith and god the things you should know is if your kid is scared of violence you should not take him/her to see it
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byconnielove93 December 23, 2012
age 10+
 

No brutal violence, just nature

This is a breathtaking film that children above 10 should be able to handle. Younger children become bored with it too easily because it's to complex for them to understand but, this is a thought provoking film that tween animal lovers and clever children alike are sure to enjoy. I see a lot of parents mentioning the violence in this movie, which is no worse than what you would see on Animal Planet, and is not focused on at all in the movie. Do not let your children miss out because it may be slightly disturbing, animals eat one another, it's a fact. The beauty of nature is shown in all it's splendor and ruthlessness, but I'm quite partial to it because this is exactly the type of story I like to be told. In all its facets and complexities, I'm glad my children wanted to see it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written byMinMcQ December 2, 2012
age 18+
 

Harrowing movie, not for kids or tweens.

This movie is not suitable for 10 year olds! I took my 12 year old daughter and she was devastated and terrified by the harrowing death of several characters and the ongoing danger to the boy Pi. The movie is beautifully filmed but many of the beautiful scenes were also scary (the whale scene they show in all the trailers for example). An adult woman in the row in front of us screamed out loud at one point, giving you a sense of the scariness of some events. The alternative story line was even more adult in nature. I would not recommend this for any child or tween. 14 might be a more suitable cut-off.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byChocolateOrange November 25, 2012
age 12+
 

Great movie

It's a good movie! I was spellbound. I think that it is a good movie for ages 12 and up because younger kids wouldn't get the spiritual message but would probably get the rest. It is a wonderful movie for all ages but there is animal violence. I also like how the movie didn't romanticize the animals in any way. The effects are beautiful and the story has a good message in it. It is well worth the watch and it will grip the attention of older audiences.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 10 and 14 year old Written bymorfin November 25, 2012
age 10+
 

Intense scenes for sensitive kids, but visually astonishing movie!

I was a huge fan of the novel and couldn't wait for the movie. I was SO surprised when I initially found out that the movie was to be rated PG, as in my imagination as a reader, some of the scenes from the book were incredibly disturbing and I still think of them all these years later with clarity. So I was very interested to see what Ang Lee would do with the source material in order to make it accessible to my 10 year old boy. I was pleased with the movie. I will say that my son cried and shook during the shipwreck scene, which took me by surprise. The post-shipwreck scenes in the boat with the hyena, zebra, orangutan, and tiger were very scary, I thought, even though no blood was really shown and one sad scene in particular is shown in silhouette against the setting sun. The whole family loved the movie: from the parents, to a teenaged boy, to the 10 year old... You won't be disappointed by the visual 3-D extravaganza, either, which was a great tool to have for this film.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byImjustsaying November 24, 2012
age 9+
 

Loved this beautiful movie

I loved this movie as did my kids ages 9 and 14. Ang Lee is one of my favorite directors. His movies are always shot beautifully. The story is very powerful and there is a lot of scenes to keep you interested. I didn't find a v=boring moment in the two hours.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bydeJong May 28, 2013
age 8+
 

The wonderful life of Pi

This was a very beautiful movie. The picture was fascinating to look at and the story line was great. It tells the story of Pi and his tiger Richard Parker learning to get along. They are stranded on a life boat together and need to survive. There are some scenes that may be a little violent for little kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old November 27, 2012
age 14+
 

NOT FOR KIDS UNDER 14, BUT A MOVING STORY FOR ADULTS.

Parents, This Movie Is An Uplifting drama, with emotional, tearjerking scenes, but for your kids safety, don't let kids see this movie. The intense and disturbing shipwreck scene is just the start of it all. There is also partial nudity, strong violence, 1 use of F**k and D**k, and emotional material. My Rating - Rated PG-13 For Emotional Thematic Material, Child & Teen Imperilment Including Language, Brief Sexual References Involving A Nude Image, Disturbing Images & A Scene Of Mature Violent Content
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 November 25, 2012
age 14+
 

Wonderful, spiritual-centered movie

The narrative of "Pi" is incredibly original in storytelling at the masterful hands of Lee, but credit goes to the excellent book it's based on, one of my favorites. The film version stays remarkably true to the source, almost down to a T. I saw young children attendance who probably only came for the big orange tiger on the poster, but this movie is far from a CGI display. It's a movie that takes a hard look at faith, like the novel did, and what we ultimately believe in that guides our way. Get ready to see Pi and Richard Parker at the Oscars!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Educator and Parent Written byGeoff Barrett November 25, 2012
age 8+
 

Might upset young children

Some young children will be upset and disturbed by the scenes of animals in pain or being killed. That should be weighed against the positive message of survival and resilience that the movie raises.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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