Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' gets mixed reviews after opening New York Film Festival

life-of-pi-ang-lee.jpgDirector Ang Lee opened the New York Film Festival Friday night (Sept. 28) with his adaptation of Yann Martel's novel "Life of Pi," and the consensus from early reviews is that the film is visually gorgeous.

Whether it has more to offer than that is open for debate. Critics have praised Lee ("Brokeback Mountain," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") for bringing Martel's best-seller about a boy stranded at sea with a tiger to life on screen, but some have problems with the film's structure and script.

Here's a sampling of what reviewers are saying. "Life of Pi" is due in theaters on Nov. 21.

"Messy though it may be, it's affecting on the whole for the truths with which it concerns itself and the journey it so passionately suggests." [ Hitfix]

"'Life of Pi' is an unusual example of anything-is-possible technology put at the service of a humanistic and intimate story rather than something that smacks of a manufactured product. [ Hollywood Reporter]

"Lee has made a film that's marvelously simple and yet simultaneously complex. On one level, this is a magical tale of survival, with boy and tiger facing off, at least initially, against each other as well as the elements. On a deeper level, it's a thematically elegant meditation on the role that faith plays in our lives and actions." [ The Wrap]

"This exquisitely beautiful adaptation of Yann Martel's castaway saga has a sui generis quality that's never less than beguiling, even if its fable-like construction and impeccable artistry come up a bit short in terms of truly gripping, elemental drama." [ Variety]

"With ongoing reminders that his plight represents something beyond its superficial definition, Lee's film constantly undoes its own spell, particularly in the painfully obvious closing act. But it's still a wild ride to get there." [ Indiewire]

Here's the latest trailer for "Life of Pi":

Photo/Video credit: 20th Century Fox