Life of Pi

  • PG
  • Ang Lee (2012)
  • US / Tai / Aus / UK / Can
  • 121 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

A spiritual journey at sea is the basis of this high-minded film from Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, based on Yann Martel's prize-winning novel. Thankfully, it's grounded with a good dose of humour and an endearing performance by newcomer Suraj Sharma. He plays Pi, an Indian boy whose zoo-owning father (Adil Hussain) packs the family and animals onto a ship bound for Canada. After the ship is wrecked during a storm, Pi is left adrift in a lifeboat - his last surviving companion a Bengal tiger that he has feared ever since his dad tried to teach him a lesson about Darwinism. But apart from seeking safe passage, Pi is also looking for God. There are no easy answers, of course, but there are a few too many platitudes in the script and a bit of misdirection that some will find patronising. The real strength of the film is in its stunning imagery, which evokes the mysteries of the universe and stirs great tension as Pi and a truly life-like CGI tiger pussyfoot around each other on the way to enlightenment.

Plot Summary

A writer interviews a man about the extraordinary events of his life. He describes his childhood in India, living in the zoo run by his father, and how the family and their animals were forced to relocate to Canada when he was a teenager. However, during the sea voyage, the ship sank and he was left adrift in a small boat with a ferocious tiger. Ang Lee's adventure based on Yann Martel's novel, starring Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan.

Cast and crew


Pi Patel
Suraj Sharma
Adult Pi Patel
Irfan Khan
Young Pi
Ayush Tandon
Santosh Patel
Adil Hussain
Gita Patel
The Writer
Rafe Spall
Gérard Depardieu
The Priest
Andrea Di Stefano
Shravanthi Sainath


Ang Lee

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 21 Dec 2012
Certificate PG