Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ang Lee On How 'Life Of Pi' Shall Break The Stereotypical Portrayal Of Indians In The Eyes Of The West

 It was a huge honour and privilege to interview Academy Award winning director Ang Lee today. He is extremely affable, simple and calm. Lee's film 'Life Of Pi' is releasing on November 23, 2012. In the morning he showed around 20 minutes of exclusive footage of his film to the media and a few celebrities. The footage showcased some fantastic visuals that got further augmented in 3D. The tiger in the film has been created through Animation and it looks very Real.

Lee spoke about the spiritual subtext of the film with symbolism in the ocean as well as the sky and the quest for the God and the infinite. He won the best director Oscar for Brokeback Mountain but many felt that he was denied best film for the same film due to certain biases. In an article in Guardian, UK, I read about reasons why Life Of Pi deserve both the best director as well as the best film at the Osacrs this year. Lee said that his film is expensive and first of all he hopes  that it gets appreciated by people and does well at the ticket window. He emphasised the significance of the 3000 odd crew that toiled for four years on the film.

Suraj Sharma, the young Pi plays a ver important role but he is an unknown commodity. Isn't that a risk? Lee says the fact that Suraj is an unknown commodity makes it even more charming and appealing. The manner in which Indians are showcased in Hollywood so far is stereotypical but in Life Of Pi there's an Indian who triumphs as a Hero. Will it change the way Indians or Asians in general are looked in the eyes of the West? Lee agreed and he fees there is a paradigm shift in the West towards Asians and Indians.

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  1. Slowly we move towards a greater understanding and appreciation of our respective cultures. There are obstacles like the language barrier as well portrayals of how we all behave. Movies I believe are one of the driving forces that we all have in common.