Gorgeously wrapped

The Life Of Pi. PA Photo/Fox Australia Film.
The Life Of Pi. PA Photo/Fox Australia Film.

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) experiences film-making in 3D for the first time with this handsome adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Yann Martel.

Lee’s vision is breathtaking and entire sequences have been masterfully choreographed to take full advantage of the depth that 3D brings to the big screen.

Yet all of this gorgeous wrapping would mean nothing without a deep emotional core, and once again, Lee elicits stunning performances from his ensemble cast that leave us choking back tears.

In a slight departure from the source novel, screenwriter David Magee uses a simple framing device to draw us into the narrative.

An inquisitive writer (Rafe Spall) turns up unexpectedly at the door of Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan), having been told the stranger’s life story deserves to be immortalised in print.

In flashback, Pi recounts his youth as the son of a circus owner (Adil Hussain), who decided to sell the family business in Pondicherry and emigrate to Canada with his wife Gita (Tabu) and two boys.

A raging storm causes the Japanese freighter to overturn and young Pi (Suraj Sharma) escapes in a lifeboat along with a zebra, orang-utan, hyena and a tiger.

Life Of Pi is a deeply moving tribute to the endurance of the human spirit in the aftermath of senseless tragedy.

Sharma, who has never acted before, is mesmerising, plucking our heartstrings in close-up as his character is flung repeatedly through the emotional wringer.