By Sonya Rehman
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s French film, ‘Amelie’, truly was a work of art. From the tiniest of details, to the film’s overall execution – the concept, the script and the storyline is just about stunning – making ‘Amelie’ today, one of the finest, contemporary foreign films ever made.
And then there is the glorious fantasy/adventure/drama best-seller (‘Life of Pi’), penned down by Canadian author, Yann Martel, which was published in 2001.
So what do Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Yann Martel have in common, you might wonder? With the director’s cap worn firmly over Jeunet’s head, ‘Life of Pi’ is all set to be adapted into a riveting feature film.
Set in Pondicherry, India, ‘Life of Pi’ follows Piscine ‘Pi’ Molitor Patel on his journey through the Pacific Ocean – and his survival through many months of being shipwrecked with his only, sole, companion – Richard Parker – a burnt-orange and black coloured Bengali tiger.
Sounds good? You bet. The book is one fantastic mind trip – power-packed with adventure, surrealism, and peppered with spirituality, loss, and love.
And taking ‘Amelie’ into consideration, Oscar-winning director, Jeunet, is bound to do a jolly good job with the book’s adaptation…well, hopefully!
Apparently, M Night Shyamalan (director of Bruce Willis’ eerie ‘Sixth Sense’ and ‘The Village’) was set to direct ‘Life of Pi’, but pulled out due to other commitments. Thank goodness for that, because for some reason or the other, Night seems to work far better as a director for Horror/Suspense flicks.
While Jeunet on the other hand, seems to be just the right person to work around and effectively depict the book’s fantasy/surrealist elements. And this is very apparent in ‘Amelie’ – just the minutest details, to the larger particulars aided in bringing the French film’s reel to life – from the gold glow of a key in Amelie’s pocket, to each character’s portrayal, Amelie’s dimpled smile and her large, button-eyes, her father’s garden gnome, the plump and rather horrid fruit/vegetable vendor, the artist, and the young man whose hobby lies in collecting people’s Polaroid pictures…the list is endless.
Currently, ‘Life of Pi’ the film, is a work-in-progress…and the tentative date for its release is chalked out for 2009 – one really can hardly wait.
Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’ too, has been adapted into a film and is due to be released this year in December – how exciting. One hopes the ‘revived’ cinemas which dot each city of the country, screen ‘The Kite Runner’ as soon as it’s out. Since Hosseini’s book is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, audiences within the country are bound to appreciate, and be able to identify with the film to a large extent.
Instep Today, The News