The critical and commercial success of the 2012 film Life of Pi came as a surprise to many. Prior to its release, several critics had expressed their doubts towards the profitability of the film. John Horn and Ben Fritz from the Los Angeles Times for instance, described the film as a “huge gamble” for the production company, 20th Century Fox. The team behind the project had also acknowledged the film’s weak mainstream appeal amidst other holiday blockbusters such as Silver Linings Playbook and The Hobbit.
Despite the lack of faith in the project, the film went on to earn over $609 million worldwide, more than earning back the costs of production. The film also garnered a whopping 11 nominations at the Academy Awards, bringing home 4 of them,…show more content… The first part centers around Pi as a young child. Growing up in a zoo in India, Pi is introduced to religion from a young age, and begins his pursuit of finding God through Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The second part contains the main action of the story, where a teenage Pi gets lost at sea after a storm wrecks the ship he was on, claiming the lives of most of the crew and his family. Pi is stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with several animals from his zoo, including a large Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. The story here focuses much on Pi’s efforts at survival, both at sea and while in close contact with Richard Parker. The third part of the story is about Pi’s conversation with two officials after he is rescued, and how he gives two different accounts of his experience at sea, allowing the officials, as well as the audience, to choose the one that they would rather…show more content… Based on an award-winning novel by Yann Martel, much of the story takes place on a boat in the middle of the ocean, with the central character’s only companion being a tiger. Not only were the practical difficulties of shooting on water a concern, the challenge of how to keep the audience engaged during the boat scenes were a cause for worry as well. The story also featured numerous animals and young children, and the hassle of working with them were hurdles that the production team had to overcome.
Even the narrative itself was a challenge. The book has been compared to Cloud Atlas – described as having many ideas but not enough action. With all these challenges in mind, it is no surprise that many directors steered away from this film.
Not Lee. A highly decorated director, Lee is a significant cinema of attraction for the film. Viewers are familiar with his previous award-winning works and his success in directing unconventional, even risky, screenplays such as Brokeback Mountain. Lee is also known for directing transnational films with both commercial success and global appeal. It can be said that his multicultural roots has had an impact on his films’ transnational appeal. A Taiwan-born American citizen, Lee is the first Asian person to win an Academy