I’ve never seen a tiger feast upon a young, supple nubile*, but I have to imagine the above image from Ang Lee’s Life of Pi will be about as close an opportunity as I’ll ever get. Seriously though, I’ve had dreams where Jack Palance mows my lawn in an Obama mask and that’s still not as trippy as what I’m looking at here. Shades of Tarsem Singh, though Ang Lee has never been one to slouch on visuals.
Few filmmakers today are as reliably cerebral as Lee, so this is one I’m looking forward to. Pi will hit here in the States on December 21st. Here’s a synopsis:
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?
*Sgt. Kabukiman fans? Anyone? No?