Honestly, I wasn't sure I truly wanted to see the movie. But Ang Lee does nice work and the story was clever enough and had potential to be visually pleasing.
But the story itself - in book form - was brutal. Or had brutal moments. What one, even in the tale (?) fable (?), parable (?), hallucination (?), coping mechanism (?)), must do to survive is not pretty, no matter how it is filmed.
When one reads a book, your internal visualization can take you multiple places, whereas a movie ends up making it static. Or worse, film makes external visualization of nasty events that were tough enough to read, indelible. I wasn't sure what I was totally up for it in this regard.
Visually, the movie was stunning. Lee did a great job with the shots and effects, I'm guessing whether you see it in 3-D or not (we did). Yes, to me, some of the tiger shots were a little to CGI-ish, but time will tell they hold up in terms of technology five years down the road. Lighting, colours and transition shots were extremely well done.
The acting was good too - considering 80% of it was the boy who played Pi. Yes, there are cut away shots and some pre-ocean material, but mainly it was all Pi.
As for my concerns about the translation from page to screen, overall it was fine. Like any adaptation, things were glossed over, omitted, unexplained or changed for dramatic effect. The rougher aspects of the book were handled delicately, or as much as possible. The six year old (!!!) didn't burst into tears at some treatment of the animals.
But to be honest, with the book's intro about this story making you believe in g-d, well.....not only did the book not do that, neither did the movie, nor did either really try.
I understand the award buzz for the movie due to the difficulty of adapting the book to a movie and having an excellent director, but save some technical aspects, I don't see major wins. But it seems I'm tipping my hand for the show-down Mike and I will have in two months.
Still, the movie is worth a viewing. ....and we are 11 for 11, and still have The Hobbit, Lincoln and two or three others to go. We might surpass the annual goal. Lordy be!
Song by: Kate Bush