50 million investment, 609 million box office, what did Ang Lee do right?
"Pi's Fantasy Drifting" is Ang Lee's highest-grossing film, with an investment of $50 million in exchange for $609 million.
This is also the second-highest-rated film among Ang Lee's three films with a score of 9, and "Pie" is bolder and more adventurous than "Eating Men and Women" and "The Wedding Banquet".
Ang Lee walked out of the familiar social ethics discussion, and turned to different themes, Western-style scripts, oriental interiors, delicate feelings have not been lost, and there is more beauty of technological innovation.
"The Fantasy Drifting of Youth Pi" has all the characteristics of poetry and film, subtle, beautiful, and blended with scenes.
In the lens of "Pie", it seems that I don't know the sky is in the water, full of dreams and pressing the starry river, knowing that many pictures are special effects synthesis, but I can't put it down, marveling at Ang Lee's grasp of beauty.
But "Pie" is not only the aestheticism of every frame becoming a wallpaper, but also the thinking about human nature, divinity, animality, and faith, plus the story told in a delicate way, and "good" is linked.
The story of "Pie" is very simple, that is, Pai was shipwrecked, and he survived alone, opened a sea adventure with a tiger in a small boat, and was finally saved.
But such a popular adventure story, how to make it not boring, this is Ang Lee's power, seemingly unintentional magic but natural flowers, making the movie interesting and not lacking in connotation.
The pace of the film is leisurely, not impatient or procrastinating, not noisy or dull.
The twist does not have any sense of stiffness, it is all a matter of course, and even Ang Lee's usual calculations in script arrangement are gone.
The time for the dramatic conflict to arrive is just right, Ang Lee always controls the audience's emotions, and what kind of plot can make the audience have what kind of reaction is in the chest.
This makes "Pie" have both the popcorn attributes of commercial films and the artistry of literary films, and Ang Lee has found an excellent balance to satisfy audiences in both groups.
After the external things reach a high level, in fact, "Pie" can already guarantee no loss.
Make an easy-to-understand story, with a set of beautiful pictures, but Ang Lee did not follow Hollywood's advice and stopped there, but felt that it was far from enough, so "Pie" had a philosophy.
The attitude of seeing the world is the way to make a movie, and when planning to shoot "The Fantasy Drifting of Youth Pi", Ang Lee thought about faith and divinity, and this movie was born.
When watching "Pie", the audience will have such a thought, is Pi's sea drifting true or false, and how should the story end?
This leads to the authenticity of the two stories told by Pai, whether to believe in beautiful fairy tales or to insist on the cruelty of reality, rational and emotional thinking arises.
Ang Lee did not give the answer in the film, but left the choice to the audience, allowing the audience to discover the details and find metaphors, rather than explaining it himself and setting an official tone, so that the fun of the film is lost by half.
Why the Bengal Tigers don't look back is the way "Pie" gives the audience to think.
Pai's inner bestiality and kindness exist at the same time, just because in ordinary life, there is no worry about food and clothing, there is no threat to life, and the power of faith makes Pai's kindness and innocence always prevail.
When a person is alone in the vast sea, seeking help without success, and will die at any time, the wildness of the human body will be released, and in order to survive, he will do things that he usually dare not think of, and the tiger represents the animalistic side.
On the boat, Pai turned into a tiger, bit the hyena to death, ate zebras and orangutans, and when he reached the shore, Pai was rescued, and the tiger walked to the jungle without looking back, implying that the pie still defeated bestiality with kindness.
Returning to civilization no longer requires Richard Parker, because Pai no longer has to rely on the fear of tigers to stay focused and keep himself alive as much as possible, which, as Ang Lee said, is the power of innocence.
The tiger's non-looking back may also be a metaphor for Ang Lee's reality.
The so-called fate is that in this life and this life you are constantly watching so-and-so's back gradually drift away, you stand at this end of the path, watching him gradually disappear where the path turns, he silently tells you with his back: no need to chase.
The few seconds when Richard Parker stopped in front of the jungle were waving goodbye to Pai, but the young Pai had not yet accepted leaving without a good goodbye, so he felt heartbroken.
When he was already a husband and was able to calmly tell the story of his drifting at sea, facing the fact that all the family was killed except him, he understood the meaning of saying goodbye with his back, because some people and things are too late, so they have to look forward.
Like Ang Lee himself, when his father died, others made movies in the United States.
Hurriedly returned to Taiwan without seeing his father, and after cooking, he hurriedly ran to the United States to continue making movies, and he didn't have time to say goodbye to his father, which is Ang Lee's regret all along.
In this sense, Pi's body has Ang Lee's projection, his "I'm sorry" is what Ang Lee wants to say to his father, and the tiger's non-looking back is Ang Lee's relief and understanding after many years, no need to nostalgia, life has to pass.
It can also be seen that Ang Lee is a solid author and director.
"The Fantasy Drifting of Youth Pi" is Ang Lee's life, tangled between beliefs when he was a child, and hesitated in what he was engaged in when he grew up, his father wanted him to be a teacher, but he wanted to make movies, such as Pi's multiple beliefs.
His father told him to be pragmatic, but he insisted on his ideas, like sending him to feed Richard Parker because he felt that he had a soul in his eyes, while his father thought that a beast was a beast and would not make friends with humans.
When alone, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" made Ang Lee famous all over the world.
His father affirmed his films for the first time, which made him run when he was confused and physically and mentally exhausted, gave up the idea of retirement, and continued to love his movies.
After discovering the truth about human teeth and different environments day and night on Cannibal Island, Pai strengthens his belief in going to the human world and loves the life he lives.
Pai tells two stories, and the answer is all up to itself.
Like Ang Lee's two paths, teachers and movies, Ang Lee chose movies, during which was bumpy, but eventually came to the shore and was redeemed by movies.
So when we watch pie, we are actually watching Ang Lee, who is the storyteller in the movie, and Ang Lee has become the author of life to the audience through the medium of film.
The fantasy drifting of Youth Pi, Ang Lee's movie life, two sides of the same body, maintain fear of the movie (tiger), in order to have continuous fresh attempts, so that they will not be eliminated.