– Sam Jacob, Writing for ArtReview [source-Wikipedia]
This film, with 3 protagonists going about their lives in search of meaning, starts of on a idea which is a philosophical question version of the above paragraph. Filmed in a languid pace, sometimes focusing on blank landscapes, the imagery itself evokes a sense of peace, and of purpose.
-“A group of jain monks are seen walking through a landscape filled with windmills, the turning fans and their shadows reminding us of how time flies by. There are no sentences spoken here. We know one of the monks is ailing, maybe walking towards his own death. And the shadows of the Kal-chakra pass over his head.”
-“The sound of wind, a birds-eye view of a grassland, ruffled by the blowing wind. No characters in sight”
-“A valley. somewhere in the himalayas, a mountain stream gurgling through, a wooden bridge”
The actors perform their parts marvelously. The monk, transforming from a lean, yet healthy man – to a man on his deathbed, fasting, ridden with bedsores, and yet a steely determination in his eyes. The young stock-market player, with his empathizing selflessness. A admirable bewilderment and joy from the photographer who regains her vision. A supporting cast who fit into the puzzle marvelously. The banter between the monk and the lawyer, in the second story, bewildering, logical, funny. The daily laborer, once shell-shocked from the loss of his Kidney, and at the other time, joyous from a future filled with hope. The lovely fight in the kitchen about creativity, and our own vision of it.
The circumstances under which the paths of the protagonists cross is believable, and seems like an organic growth of the complete film.
Life of Pi left me with a lot of questions. Even now it creates discussions in our group of friends. It was splendidly made. This film, maybe doesn’t spellbind you with magical effect. But it does so with its completeness of though.
Slow, and yet crisp, a must watch “Ship of Theseus”.
Glad I watched in on the big screen.