By all accounts, Life of Pi is an unfilmable text. Yann Martel’s extremely popular, award winning book mainly is a fantastical journey that spends an awful lot of its time with its lead character, Pi, stranded at sea with a tiger. So leave it to Ang Lee, perhaps one of the most fearless and diverse filmmakers in Hollywood to craft a movie which many said would be un-filmable. Anticipation has been high for the film and today, we can show you the first glimpse of what the director has been getting up to with the release of the trailer.
Early buzz from the 3D footage that was shown at CinemaCon was very, very positive indeed, with many critics hailing it as extraordinary and one of the films to look out for this award season. But then again, many said the same about The Great Gatsby, and then they released a trailer which looked unmitigatedly awful. Luckily, the trailer for Life of Pi isn’t awful, but from the footage we see here, I’m still not convinced.
It’s a long way off from release and visual effects still have to be cleaned up and perfected but the style which Lee has gone for here doesn’t look great. In fact, it is a reminder of The Lovely Bones, another literary adaptation that undid itself through mind bafflingly tawdry visual effects. The colour palette is forced and obvious and the fact we are in the world of magical realism is forced down your throat.
That being said, when not out at sea with the CGI tiger the trailer jolts into life. The shot of the zebra swimming past Pi while he navigates a sinking boat is particularly stunning and other shots that are done entirely in camera are beautiful. Most of all though it’s a reminder that Ang Lee is a powerful filmmaker and has been responsible for crafting some awe inspiring visuals in the past.
Life of Pi will hit the US on November 21st. Check out the trailer below.