Life Of Pi, the Movie is Coming with Plenty of Indian Actors in It!

09:35 a.m.

I’m very lazy today. I’m still in my pyjamas, I’m hanging around the flat with a cup of coffee in my hand, I surf on Youtube, I check my mails again and again but there are only spams for fashion web sites. I really have to kick in my own behind (it is not too difficult but you are ridiculous when you do that), get dressed and try to do something more useful than counting the number of visitors on my blog since yesterday.

But before that, I want to give you two reasons for being happy, which is not so useless after all. At least, these two things make me happy and I hope they will do the same to you.

Too sexy for my shirt…

The first happy thing is this song called Chikni Chameli from the film Agneepath starring Mary Ingalls’ s twin brother Hrithik Roshan. Go there and listen. In a few seconds, you will feel like dancing. Indian songs are the best to make you dance!

The second happy thing is this trailer I’ve come across on Youtube, of course, Youtube is my second home.(You can see the trailer at the end of the post.) I knew that Ang LeeHulk, Brokeback Mountain – was preparing the film adaptation of incredible novel Life of Pi. I knew this director was the best one to make such a film and to respect the poetry and the story of the book. Night Shyamalan, the American director who is a native of Tamil Nadu, had been offered the adaptation before but he hesitated too much and prefered to shoot Lady in the Water instead, which I think was a mistake as this film is rather disappointing.

Book Life of Pi

The novel Life of Pi was written by Canadian Yann Martel. It is the adventure of Pi Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who leaves India and takes a cargo ship with his family. On board, there are also all the animals from his parents’ zoo which are supposed to be taken to North America. Of course, like in any story taking place on a ship, there is a storm and a shipwreck. The young boy finds himself all alone, drifting on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Actually, he is not all alone; he soon realises that he has a companion in misfortune: a huge Bengal tiger!

Some of you who haven’t read the book yet, probably think it is imposssible to hold the reader in suspense with such a simple plot. I can tell you this book will change your life! The Little Prince meets Robinson Crusoe on the same lifeboat. It is a sweet ans salty mixture of philosophy, adventure and poetry. No wonder Life of Pi is a bestseller worldwide!

As far as the movie is concerned, there is little information about it but this little information as well as the trailer herald the best.

First, contrary to what I feared, they didn’t get rid of the Indian culture which is depicted in very small touches in the novel; thus, the first part of the book which takes place in Pondicherry and, in my opinion, which is a little boring, will certainly be an opportunity for Ang Lee to show India in her spiritual and visual magnificence.

Moreover, when you read the Canadian writer’s novel, you may consider that the story could have happened anywhere; India doesn’t seem to be such an important element in the plot so, it would have been easy for the American producers to ask for a common caucasian-typed actor in order to stick to a sad artistic globalisation and to enable the highest amount of spectators to identify with Pi. But we are lucky this time: no Robert Pattinson, no famous dandy from Gossip Girls series. Phew! Ang Lee has chosen a young Indian student called Suraj Sharma. Suraj had never acted before, he is 18 years old, he is from Delhi and his moving eyes and innocent smile seduced Ang Lee and his team.(More information about Suraj Sharma in The Times of India )

As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy to discover a new actor; especially an Indian actor. I like directors who show me new faces, I don’t like when an actor is chosen for his previous success and not because he is the character.


The rest of the cast is really satisfying too! Talented Indian actors have been chosen: Irrfan Khan, is a man who has always been clever enough to make a career in Bollywood ( Mumbai Meri Jaan, Billu Barber ) but also in other cinema families (Salaam Bombay, The Darjeeling Limited, Slumdog millionnaire). Adil Hussain seems to be the same versatile kind of artist, acting in bollybuster Agent Vinod one day, and being an acting teacher in Delhi the day after. Even a great French actor has taken part in this movie (Allons enfants de la patriiii-i-ie…), Gérard Depardieu, who is a demigod as an actor, but a real swine as a human being, if you really want my opinion…

However, a slight point scares me: it is a 3D film. I am a bit prejudiced against 3D movies. I am afraid too many special effects will spoil the film and make me feel sick. In addition,I have bad memory from my first and only experience in watching a 3D film. Do you remember Creature from the Black Lagoon, a 50s classic and one of the first 3D films ever shot? This film was going to be shown on TV in 1982 and my mum had made blue and red spectacles for me and I couldn’t see anything at all, I was very frustrated!

Well, after reading my post, or after watching this trailer, I hope you will feel like seeing Life of Pi which is going out in December 2012. But above all, I’ll ask you to read the book first because after seeing the film, it will be too late, Ang Lee’s pictures may haunt your mind while you read the novel. Always read the novel first! It is my rule! To let your imagination be your only camera!

Categories: Bookshelves, Cinema | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Life Of Pi, the Movie is Coming with Plenty of Indian Actors in It!

  1. Lotho Sackville-Baggins

    > Allons enfants de la patrie

    Since I am trying to bone up on my French language skills(and I am usually of the curious sort), I was wondering what does this phrase imply. The literal translation comes up as, ‘Arise children of the fatherland’. Assuming this is along the lines of being correct, I was curious as to what the connotation is.

    > Gérard Depardieu, who is a demigod as an actor,
    > but a real swine as a human being, if you really want my opinion…

    Again, I am a touch curious as to why Depardieu is regarded as a ‘swine’ – is this the general consensus amongst European movie-goers. I remember watching a couple of his interviews on talk shows(in the US/UK) and he seemed decent-ish. Just wondering why he has a ‘reputation’.

    > I am a bit prejudiced against 3D movies

    Finally I must say, vis-a-vis 3D movies – you should definitely give it a second chance. Although I am vary of giving movie-watching-advice to the French, especially since you’ll are generally regarded as sophisticates when it comes to movies and art and such – the rest of us are so bourgeois.

  2. Thanks for your comment!
    Beforehand, since English isn’t my native language, the words I use may sometimes be inadequat. Then, when I translate my posts into French ( I usually start with the English version), I sometimes realise that I go too far because in French, the meaning of my sentences suddenly becomes much clearer to me.
    So it’s only when I translated « a swine » into French, that I realised it was a bit offencive to G.Depardieu, but I found the word funny, and actually, I really think he sometimes behaves like a pig in everyday life. I mean he is vulgar; to be clear, he burps, he farts, he drinks, he makes dirty jokes, maybe you’ve heard of the episode when he peed into a bottle on a plane… I think some people think like me but I wouldn’t say it is a general opinion. On the other side, he is one of my favourite actors. He is a genius. I love, love, love him in Cyrano de Bergerac for example!
    To answer your second question, the French often consider the cinema as something very serious. French films are very realistic. We are very bad at making horror movies, for example. But lots of people go and see American blockbusters and 3D films in France too. I prefer independent cinema or European cinema, that’s why I’m a bit afraid of big 3D movies. But I’m sure Life of Pi will be great in 3D because I guess there will be plenty of sea pictures and animal pictures. This movie has been made to be 3D, so it’s going to be really impressive.

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