In Life of Pi, Ang Lee stages a triumphant battle of boy vs. beast

An Indian boy and a Bengal tiger: a tale familiar to children a century ago from Rudyard Kipling's story of Mowgli and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. Call the boy Pi and the tiger Richard Parker, trap them on a small lifeboat in turbulent Pacific waters and set up a boy-vs.-beast battle for territory and survival, and you have the essence of Yann Martel's best-selling Life of Pi, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002. It's a ripping yarn, full of storm and fang and a spectral awe. But it poses unusual challenges to the director of...

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