The legendary Oscar winner director from Hollywood, Ang Lee with films like Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain to his credit, was in Chennai this morning to meet the media and show clippings of his next biggie. The film is produced by Fox Star Studios and based on Yann Martel’s book Life of Pi, with the same title.
The film is shot in 3D and Ang Lee was in Chennai with his team of actors, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma and Shravanthi, to show clippings of the 3D film in its first look to the media. The visit was part of the two city Mumbai – Chennai tour by Lee.
The film is based in Pondicherry where it was shot along with regions of Munnar. The director revealed that he worked on the film for three and a half years with a crew of 3000 to convert the magic of the book into cinema. The film is being released on November 23rd in English, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu and will be subtitled in various other languages as well.
Said Lee, “The projections in 3D of Satyam cinemas is amongst the best I have seen so far and I am very happy with the output. I am thrilled with the warmth and hospitality of the people of TN where most of this film has been shot. I am happy that the culture and traditions of TN will be showcased in this film for the entire world to see.”
The Life of Pi, has Suraj Sharma playing the lead of the boy Pi, who is shipwrecked and left to fend himself with a tiger for company after the ship with his parents and family gets sunk along with zoo animals they were transporting.
Said Irrfan who plays the adult Pi, “This is one film which I can watch with my kids and they can see in all stages of their life.” Tabu said that she was thrilled to be back in Chennai with which she has strong connections and told Lee that she was honoured that he had made a film reflecting a huge part of her country.
Lee said that the 3D effect would serve to raise the bar in storytelling and that a lot of the CG work was done by workers in US, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The tiger in the film which looks so life like is actually pure CG and the interaction with a non existent tiger was one of the challenges faced by the debutant Suraj Sharma.
A large part of the Pacific ocean scenes with the boy and tiger on the boat were recreated in a hangar at an old airport in Taiwan which was filled with water just for the film. The film has also been shot on locations in schools, botanical gardens, a temple and a market in areas of Munnar and Pondicherry.