Like a lot of people, I had loved the book! And I was worried that Life of Pi, the movie, would disappoint me. Far far from it.
On the contrary, I even found that the movie made the first part of the story more thrilling than the book. I remember that I had to work hard to keep going when I started reading the book - somehow, it wasn't as exciting as I had expected. But of course all that changed quickly after the storm!
I found the movie visually so rich, full of colour and texture. Richard Parker looks very real, and yet, not real. The skies and the seas, whether calm or stormy, are full of reflections and movement, and beauty. And I loved the whales moving underneath the raft. And the representation of the island where Pi takes refuge until he realises how dangerous it is.
The only thing that didn't really convince me was the ending, where Pi tells the story in a way that is acceptable to the insurance agents - maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but I don't remember such detail in the alternative reality in the book. Yes, I do remember something along the lines of "believe what you want, this is my story", but not such details of the zebra being his mother and the hyena being the nasty cook, Gérard Depardieu, and stories of canibalism for survival. Maybe I'm blocking the memory? Well, it will have to wait until I have time to read the book again. In the meantime, plenty more books to read and films to see.
To me, Life of Pi is a celebration of life - the will to live against the odds, the beauty of the world, the immense satisfaction that comes from surviving, one day at a time. I could watch it again and again and still find it fascinating.
PS: if you're looking for a more spiritual review than mine, check this blog post out!
And if you'd like more technical detail, knock yourself out with this article.
And for a wonderful site about the filming of, this one is the best (but I had trouble watching it on WiFi - I had to use a homeplug to watch the movies without stuttering).