Here's Your First Look At Ang Lee's Adaptation of 'Life of Pi'

First 'Life of Pi' image

via Badass Digest

The first picture from Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi is out, and it's... something.

It definitely looks like the film will sport a unique visual style, and I will always and forever give Ang Lee the benefit of the doubt, but something about this is throwing me. I think it's the perspective. Is the tiger really that much bigger than Pi? Why does Pi look like a tiny yet full-grown human? It's the angle, right? It has to be the angle. 

I read this book back in 2003 when it came out, and I remember liking aspects of it, but I also don't remember enough to disagree with Badass Digest editor Devin Faraci's assertion that it struck him as "facile feel-good bullshit."

Has anyone read this more recently and want to weigh in? 

And what do you think of that photo? 

The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 21, which is my 30th birthday, and also the date of the Mayan apocalypse. 

Image of Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Price: $10.89
Publisher: Mariner Books (2003)
Binding: Paperback, 326 pages

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Comments

Monica Fay's picture
Monica Fay from Los Angeles is reading The Satanic Verses April 26, 2012 - 10:12am

NOOOOOOOOOO I'm in the middle of reading this. they cannot ruin this for me aghhh!! I just developed what Richard Parker was like in my head and also Pi. :(  

 

I hate you, Ang Lee!! 

:( 

It Isn't Slutty If You're Wearing Pearls Blog

laurelin gilmore's picture
laurelin gilmore from Sacramento is reading Tropic of Cancer April 26, 2012 - 10:14am

I read Life of Pi a few years ago and really loved it.  More to the point, I loved the author's way of answering questions about it.  It generates a lot of questions because of the heavy 'what ifs' involved.  I won't spoil it for anyone who has not read it.  But Martel's answer to most questions about it amounted to, "what do you think?".  He said that he titled it, 'Life of Pi' instead of 'The Life of Pi' for that very reason.  'The' is far too definite.  Because of that, I'm a little skeptical about a movie version since it is difficult to maintain the story's ambiguity about facts when a visual is available.  I do have a lot of faith in Ang Lee, though.  I may not have as much faith in the movie-going public to set their predetermined ideas aside.  Maybe he could just call this one, 'A Life of Pi' or 'One Life of Pi', and open it up to a series of different directors' interpretations.  I'm not into dismissing a thing before I experience it, though, so I'm not going to kid anyone into believing I won't be there when it releases. 

Emily Maggard's picture
Emily Maggard April 26, 2012 - 10:15am

I'll give the benefit until I see it. And umm, yes, tigers ARE huge.

I loved the novel- it was classic man vs. nature. I have no idea how well it will translate to film. I'll buy a seat. that's saying a lot. i don't do movies anymore.

Johann Thorsson's picture
Johann Thorsson from Reykjavik, Iceland is reading Echo Lake April 26, 2012 - 10:27am

I bought a special-edition hardcover version a few years back and was all ready to love this book. Alas, it did not deliver. A lot of religious and existential bullshit in the beginning that has little to do with the later half of the book. It does move along, though, and the ending did give me a jolt.

Still, it's not the genius work of literature people say it is. Just a good read with some religious bits at the front.

Marc Cameron's picture
Marc Cameron April 26, 2012 - 10:31am

"Facile, feel-good bullshit," eh? I suppose if you take Life of Pi out of its body of work and ignore, oh, everything about it, and prefer getting punched in the nuts to something that urges the reader to confront the way they think about truth and perspective and personhood, then sure... it's feel-good bullshit.

At least the days of book critics being cantankerous, self-loathing assholes aren't over yet. I wish they were still intelligent, though. 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life April 26, 2012 - 10:33am

It looks too hyper-realistic to me.

Pau Ojeda's picture
Pau Ojeda from Monterrey, México is reading Anna Karenina April 26, 2012 - 10:51am

I loved 'Life of Pi' when I read it and felt a little worried whtn I heard Lee was doing the movie adaptation. My first impression is that it looks way too clean... like a dream, and that takes away from the reality and dispair of Pi's situation. I hope he doesn't take away from the real danger, drama and pain that Pi goes through by making the visuals too pretty. 

Still, I will definitely watch the movie when it comes out.

Shea's picture
Shea from Ontario, Canada is reading The Eagle of the Ninth April 26, 2012 - 11:20am

Bad angle - it's making the boat look smaller which in turn makes Pi look closer to the tiger than he is which is why he looks too small. It's an odd image, too clean, almost dream-like, but then it's an odd story too.

Holden Way-Williams's picture
Holden Way-Williams from San Francisco is reading Moby Dick and Looking For Jake April 29, 2012 - 6:28pm

They're going to ruin Pi, I mean, he looks way too heroic and determined here, instead of malnourished and shriveling up like a raisin in the sun. The visial asthetic, based on this little slice here, reminds me of The Fall (dir. Tarsem Singh) and could be really sick! SO i think they'll ruin poor Pi but in the end make a beautiful film. 

Holden Way-Williams's picture
Holden Way-Williams from San Francisco is reading Moby Dick and Looking For Jake April 29, 2012 - 6:28pm

They're going to ruin Pi, I mean, he looks way too heroic and determined here, instead of malnourished and shriveling up like a raisin in the sun. The visial asthetic, based on this little slice here, reminds me of The Fall (dir. Tarsem Singh) and could be really sick! SO i think they'll ruin poor Pi but in the end make a beautiful film. 

Emily Maggard's picture
Emily Maggard April 30, 2012 - 4:11pm

"A lot of religious and existential bullshit in the beginning that has little to do with the later half of the book."- well- I happen to love existensialism, and I wouldn't call it bullshit ( The Stranger is in my top 10), but I disagree with your statement for many reasons, mostly because I feel like all of the religion and existensialism was the impetus for the man v. nature theme. It also fed into the whole- "will to live" or "God's will" arguments that kept popping up. But again, that's just my interpretations.