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Many have said that the bestseller Life of Pi would be impossible to film. In addition to the story itself, it deals with the three things directors loathe to work with; children, animals and water. But Ang Lee pick up the gauntlet and the result is a movie of awe-inspiring beauty that may not touch on everything the book has to say, but is instead a beautifully shot tale of one boy’s struggle to survive and keep his sanity and personal faith intact.
Pi Patel is a man from India that moved to Canada as a youth. But getting to Canada was an ordeal, and when a writer (Rafe Spall, Prometheus) comes to hear Pi’s story in the hope of religious awakening, Pi tells a story of shipwreck, savagery and survival. And a tiger that shares the lifeboat with him. Yeah, a tiger.
What’s really breathtaking is that the bulk of Life of Pi rests on the shoulders of Suraj Sharma, a young man who makes his acting debut in this movie. As most of the film is a two-man show — with one man being a very large Bengal tiger — that’s a ballsy move on Lee’s part, but Sharma carries the day, delivering a performance that is heartbreaking, uplifting and completely believable.
“The boogeyman is gonna getcha if you don’t watch out!” Well, he may also win the day if you don’t believe in the warm happy mythologies of childhood, so you’d better get with the happy Easter, Christmas, dreamtime and tooth-under-pillowness of it all Right Now.
Rise of the Guardians isn’t exactly a fits-all kind of film; there’s no Hanukkah Harry , no Kwanzaa Pimp or any other religious stuff that doesn’t deal with the Big J-Dog. Then again, with Santa large and in charge on the posters, there’s no doubt what you’ll be getting in the theater, so just roll with it. And who doesn’t love a badass Santa that sports tats and a thumb ring?
There are three other Guardians who “bring wonder, hope and dreams” to the kids of the world; the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. They too get their own unique spin; EB is a boomerang-toting badass who just happens to paint eggs, the Tooth Fairy is a beautiful half-human/half-hummingbird with an ability to multitask, and Sandman is a rolly-polly ball of adorable that could be the most powerful of them all. But when Pitch — otherwise known as The Boogeyman — threatens the world with his own brand of darkness, another Guardian is tapped to rise up and lend a hand. And so it comes to be that the new Guardian is…Jack Frost? He’s just as baffled as the other Guardians as to why he was chosen. Don’t worry though, all will be revealed in good time. And it’s definitely a good time.