The stranded-at-sea survival scenes in Life of Pi are lovely and affecting, both highly anticipated and rewarding for the millions of viewers who have been eagerly awaiting a film adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel since its release in 2001. The rest of the film fully embraces all of the modern holiday/awards season movie tropes: a narrative told through conversational flashback with emotional bookends, heavily whimsical yet somewhat true-to-life happenings, colorfully attractive CGI in three dimensions, a dark reveal that forces the viewer to rethink the preceding adventure. It’s an ideal example of big-budget modern family entertainment, perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I’m sure it’ll be a top contender come awards season. So yeah, it’s rather ordinary, but in a comforting way, with enough imagination to easily sustain its 2 hour+ running time.
Life of Pi is now playing in Philly-area theaters.