Saturday, 17 March 2018

Killer graphics and the psychological thriller

Life Of Pi (12A) is back by popular demand at the Regal this week — it’s been one of the

Life Of Pi (12A) is back by popular demand at the Regal this week — it’s been one of the great hits of the 2012/13 season.

If, like me, you were not exactly bowled over by the Booker Prize-winning novel by Jann Martel, it’s worth checking the celluloid version out, as this is one of those rare beasts more suited to the big screen than to the printed page.

The story is about a bookish young Canadian-Indian man, prone to daydreaming and too imaginative for his own good. When the ship taking him and his family back to India sinks he is the sole survivor in the lifeboat — apart from a man-eating tiger from his parents’ zoo.

This is the first 3D movie I’d ever seen (apart from Honey I Shrunk The something-or-other in Disneyland Paris, which doesn’t really count) and once you have got used to balancing the strange plastic specs on top of your varifocals, it is worth the extra few quid on the ticket price.

The multi-layered, computer-generated graphics give a deep, rich, story-telling vibe to the proceedings, making the tale even more fantastical. And thus, you realise it was a fable that was never meant to be taken literally. This is the story of a spiritual journey, and in film it is quite a spectacular one.

If you didn’t catch Martha Marcy May Marlene (15) at the cinema you may be able to catch it on TV — this cult-style movie is currently available on Sky On Demand.

Elizabeth Olsen plays a young girl who has just escaped from the clutches of a commune run by a bullying cult-figure, Patrick, played by John Hawkes.

She is rescued by her sister and husband, who live a normal enough life, but one which seems false and mercenary to the brain-washed and Bohemian rebel, Martha.

Directed by Sean Durkin, this is an extraordinary, if sometimes sinister, psychological thriller, with fabulous performances. The filming is suitably low budget enough to make it authentic. A gripping storyline with an ending that it a real antidote to the usually saccharine Hollywood fare.

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