Ang Lee has brought the world Oscar-winning films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain. So, when a filmmaker with a pedigree like that decides to devote years to a single epic project – one he intends to shoot in 3D, no less – the world tends to take notice. Such is the case with Life of Pi.
Lee’s film – based on Yann Martel’s award-winning 2001 novel of the same name – centers on a young man stranded on a small boat and accompanied only by a ravenous Bengal tiger. The source material has been previously deemed unable to be translated effectively into film, likely because it places much of its focus on one setting and a single character lost at sea.
Despite those detractors, Lee has spent the better part of four years working on the project. The international trailer has already showcased what are sure to be several of the film’s signature moments, including the shipwreck that leads Pi (Suraj Sharma) on his journey and a breathtaking encounter with a whale. Now, Yahoo! Movies presents the first clip of the film, featuring an introduction by Lee himself.
Taken out of context, the footage presented here doesn’t feature much in the way of plot or character development. However, it does provide a taste of the spectacle Life of Pi offers its audience. On sheer originality and intensity alone, the clip – which sees young Pi contend with a barrage of flying fish and the aforementioned hungry tiger – will likely get moviegoers talking about the project.
Regardless of how the finished film turns out, there’s no denying that Life of Pi looks fantastic. The crisp visuals truly underscore the sense of isolation, panic, and wonder that accompany the lead character’s predicament. Whether or not such moments are framed by a cohesive story and compelling characters, however, remains to be seen. As far as Lee’s involvement is concerned, let’s hope that Life of Pi is more Crouching Tiger and less TheHulk.