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Final Writing Assignment: Review of Life of Pi (Essay Sample)


The film that the essay talks about must be chosen from: Life of Pi, Dead Man, Orlando, Like Water for Chocolate, Spartacus, Citizen Kane.


Review of Life of Pi
Review of Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a 2012 film that is based on the survival story of one Pi Patel. The movie was based on Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi and was directed by Ang Lee with the screenplay being the work of David Magee. The movie was a commercial success, and online critics such as rotten tomatoes and IMDB gave it 87% and 7.9/10 ratings respectively. The film’s protagonist is Pi (Suraj Sharma) whose life is radically spurned around after tragedy strikes, and a terrible storm wrecks the ship his family was traveling in. However, Pi survives and soon realizes that he is alone except for one Bengal Tiger which seems angry and hungry. As time progresses and it dawns on them that land and help are not close, trust becomes the only thing that both can rely upon for their survival. Ang Lee gave his best in this movie and managed to not only make it a success internationally but also have it among the best 2012 movies. Life of Pi won several awards at the 85th Academy Awards gala (including one for best director) and also one at the Golden Globe Awards. Everything gelled well and hence the eventual masterpiece. Below is an analysis of some of the factors that propelled the movie to its success.
1 Mise-en-scene
Mise-en-scene mainly encompasses the lighting in a film, the actors, the décor, the props, as well as the costumes. Other elements that can be said to be a part of mise-en-scene (means placing on stage) include camerawork as well as the frame.
One particular scene that elevates or visibly brings meaning to mise-en-scene is when Pi, still in the boat, reaches the island. Here, the scene makes use of the moderate key lighting key, a high angle camera shot, color values (white and green), as well as center character placement. These factors are indeed significant in the scene and help to enhance and tell the story. First of all, the high angle camera shot seems to showcase Pi’s vulnerability. Pi was indeed vulnerable in the film and with no land in sight, no food to eat, and a tiger on board, death seemed like the only likely end for him. The color values in this scene also help to communicate the story. The boat is color white and is currently Pi’s haven. On the contrary, the island is green which is often used as the symbol of hope and life. These two colors present the contrasting viewpoints, with white symbolizing the nothingness that the boat represents and the green in the island representing hope as well as life.
The moderate lighting key also communicates the mood which is neither happy nor somber. Finally,...
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