By Colin Greten
Ang Lee’s upcoming film, “Life of Pi,” based on the acclaimed novel by Yann Martel, has already gained serious buzz for its striking visuals and its main character’s epic journey. The film stars first-time actor Suraj Sharma as the title character, Pi, a man who finds himself a cast away on a small boat in the middle of an endless plane of ocean with his only companion being a ferocious Bengal tiger.
MTV’s Josh Horowitz sat down with both Lee and Sharma recently to talk about the upcoming epic. After a screening of “Pi” at the New York Film Festival, Lee claims that he was finally able to feel relief in the audience’s appreciation of the film after diligently working on it for a few years.
Sharma on the other hand was unsure if he would even like the film having not seen it until the festival, but was pleasantly surprised with how it all came together. The two spoke in depth about the film’s 3-D aspects which play an important role in the visualization of the novel.
The movie was filmed in 3-D completely without adding those effects in post-productions as many films do today. Lee and Sharma both agreed that the film is a brand new imagining of how 3-D can work in the current movie industry. While recent films have used 3-D as a gimmick to simply throw stuff at the audience for cheap amusement, “Pi” uses 3-D in spiritually to really bring the viewer in and “helps with the emotion” involved in the film according to Sharma.
The film was considered impossible to make, which, according to Lee, made it a seductive challenge for him as he claims that “anything is doable in film.” Sharma commended Lee’s ability to change his perception of 3-D filmmaking in that, “3-D [has been] thrill based until now” and that “for the first time [he thinks] Ang has made [3-D] something else,” something that’s on a whole new level of filmmaking.
“Life of Pi” premieres November 21 in theaters and is already considered by many to be a possible candidate for the Best Picture Academy Award. If Lee and Sharma’s claims about the film’s incredible visuals are true, it could open the door for more expansive uses of 3-D in the future. While this will unfortunately mean higher ticket sales, it may also mean higher quality in the realm of three dimensional filmmaking.