Thursday, October 2, 2014

No New Friends for Pi

            Special effects can make or break a movie; it’s as simple as that. If the effects are good, the movie will be vibrant and full of life, action, etc. If the effects are bad, the movie will look cheesy and nobody will bother spending money on seeing it. I chose to analyze the movie Life of Pi in regards to the special effects used. I strongly believe that without the use of special effects, this movie would have been awful. The acting was subpar and the whole movie was based around one character floating on a boat, thus making it a relatively boring storyline. However, with the use of special effects, the director was able to make it seem like there was much more in the movie than there actually was. The special effects in Life of Pi significantly enhanced the movie.
            In order to fully understand the special effects of this movie, one must watch a scene or two.

            This scene here depicts the main character, Pi, and his tiger, Richard Parker, running through a migrating group of flying fish. To be honest, without special effects, this scene would just be Pi standing on his boat. However, due to creative geniuses and advancements in special effect technology, it actually looks like there is a live tiger on a boat with Pi while fish are rocketing towards them. The article Image Based Culture says, “Video makers are in the same position as a ad makers are in the same position as ad makers in terms of trying to get attention for their message and making it visually pleasurable” (Page 6).  This runs true for this film because the producers (video makers) are banking on special effects for 95% of the movie. After the beginning part of the movie, I don’t think there was a scene filmed where everything besides Pi and the boat weren’t computer-generated images (CGI).  The producer had to make the images visually pleasurable or else the movie would fail miserably.
            Another scene that gives somebody a sense of the special effects in the movie is when the whale breaches and throws Pi off his raft.
            This is another example of the amazing special effects and computer-generated images used in Life of Pi. Without the CGI, this scene is just Pi falling off his raft. However, with CGI, you see these bright colors in the water followed by an amazing display of wildlife when the whale breaches the water which results in Pi losing balance and getting tossed overboard. This scene is one of the most amazing scenes in the movie because it shows hope, wonder and life all while continuing the plot of Pi and the tiger lost at sea.

            This whole movie is based around special effects and CGI. Without these two forms of technology, this movie is nothing. However, the movie contains countless uses of special effects and CGI and the movie images you see are fantastic. Everything explodes off the screen, the colors are vibrant and the images pop, making this one of the most visually pleasing movies I’ve ever seen. Life of Pi earns five pickles in my mind in regards to special effects. The movie is made so much better with the special effect use and there is no way it doesn’t earn five pickles.

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