Directed by Ang Lee, staring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain. This follows the story of a young man finding his way in life when the ship that his family is sailing across the sea on with their animals crashes, forcing him to be stranded on a small boat trying to survive.
Based on the book by Yann Martel, I had a lot of preconceptions and prejudice against this film when I first saw the trailer in the cinema. Not because of the plot, or characters but the CGI did not look good and it felt cheap and badly done because for me you watch a film to escape into it, bad CGI reminds you that this isn’t real its technology. Though some parts of this are true with a few scenes of less convincing CGI, that is not the whole part of the film.
The main importance of the film is it’s art, with most of the scenes looking more like paintings then a film. To start with you see a boy and his family as he looks at different religions trying to find his way in life, his family runs a zoo and the opening sequences is a shot of all the animals, showing that this film is more then just human aspect. It is a slow start but once the story is out at sea then visually it’s impressive.
What made me keep watching was the facial expressions of the animals, obviously they can’t let a tiger on a small boat with a boy for fear for the boy’s life however the CGI facial captures are really well done.
This is very much Castaway with a technology update, instead of a Ball named Wilson, you have a Tiger. Suraj Sharma is very good, especially his ability to work with the CGI so well, though parts of it are flawed you are completely convinced by his performance. Irrfan Khan also gives a good performance, for me the stars were the animals. The facial expressions and movements by them were amazing with clearly a lot of thought going into it.
OVERALL ****It is different to many films out there at the moment, with an intelligent ending to the story. Yes the CGI on a big scale is flawed however for the smaller scenes and with the animals it’s a much display and the interaction with the animals is very well performed I would recommend this for a family viewing, it’s a sweet charming film.