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Life Of Pi by Mychael Danna (Review)

posted Nov 29, 2012, 10:28 PM by Kaya Savas

I'll get right to it. I saw Life Of Pi and wasn't a fan of the story. I'm not religious but it wasn't the religious aspect of the story that I wasn't a fan of. In the midst of all the CGI and scenes of wonder I felt the point of the film became lost by the end. Anywho, while the film didn't resonate with me I can happily say that Mychael Danna's score did. This is a score that you are aware of at the beginning but slowly lose track of in the film, it really blends into the narrative well. On CD though you can get a true appreciation of what Danna succeeds in doing. The music is really an integral part of the universe in this film. It has an Indian accent in the beginning, but once we go on the journey it truly takes us to a place only music can.

The score has moments of haunting beauty that play off the visuals that Ang Lee crafted in the film. There is a very focused character journey in the music, and it honestly plays very well on its own. It is definitely a striking listen. I just wish the story that was unfolding onscreen kept its emotional weight by the time we got to the end. There is a spiritual essence to the music in the first act. The music gently places a giant magnifying glass on your existence as nothing else exists around you. Such is the case with Pi being stranded in the ocean. The second act of the score introduces a bit more to the character of Pi and his inner thoughts, his struggle and constant acceptance of his fate. The last act sort of blends those first two together, and we get this balanced mix of character and spiritual magnifying of the plot. It truly is a score that will access your mind and deep within you. Unfortunately the end of the story totally negates everything, at least for me. Knowing what the film is and what the little reveal shows at the end, it sort of ruins the significance of the score for me. This is of course no fault of Danna, but just the nature of the film and how it played to me.

I know a lot of people love this book and film, and the score definitely echoes the beauty suggested by the passion for Life Of Pi. Unfortunately the story is lost on me and while I was able to go on this journey and somewhat accept it, it was all negated in the end for me. I did love this score very much, and I truly think it's some of Mychael Danna's best work. As a standalone listen I will treasure this music, but I just wish I could connect with the subject of the film more to enjoy it in all its glory.