This is a brief response to the review of the 2012 film Life of Pi written by Nick Schager of The Village Voice, which can be found here.
“Wow… and this is why the last person who should ever review a film is a film critic…
Cynical to the core. You have seen the embodiment of so many images that they have become simulacrum in themselves, and everything is nothing more than a cheap photocopy of some murky cliche in the bowels of your mind.
You seem to shun the bare beauty of the film and reduce them down to the either the derisive and/or most simple textual descriptions leaving out the sensory palate that is presented to the viewer.
The source material demands it, but I do agree to some degree that the narration can, at times, spoon-feed sentiment, but it is not without some restraint, and the visual narrative beautifully reinforces the brutality versus beauty counterpoint of solitary survival within the film.
What I gleaned from the film was not that it beat the importance of the films story into my skull, like a ham handed message film, possibly about war, possibly about Nazi’s, or possibly about human rights movements, might have. Instead it reflected upon the viewer the constraints they place upon their own imagination, invited them to wear their rose colored spectacles and escape into a world that impressed upon the viewer the continued value of storytelling as a mode of communication.
I do not write this to specifically criticize your review, only to offer an alternative for you and others the contemplate. Much like the situation with the Japanese bureaucrats within the film, it is a choice between the stark and brutal, or the beautifully improbable. In either case, the truth is unique to each individual.”