Life of Pi

Composed By: Mychael Danna

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on a 2001 novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi stars Suraj Sharma as Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a young sixteen year old boy whose family is lost at sea in a shipwreck.  Pi is the only human to survive and finds himself sharing a lifeboat with the remains of his family’s zoo animals.  As each of the animals dies off one by one, Pi finds himself in an uneasy alliance with Richard Parker, a Bengal Tiger as they drift for days at the mercy of the open water and the elements.

                The musical score of Life of Pi was created by Canadian composer Mychael Danna who began composing for film in 1987, just a few years before his brother, fellow composer Jeff Danna.  Since beginning his film composing career, Mychael Danna has created musical scores for Dollhouse, 500 Days of Summer, Lakeview Terrace, Little Miss Sunshine, The Time Traveler’s Wife and more.

                The musical score of Life of Pi features music with a definite exotic influence.  Featuring duduks, exotic woodwinds, string instruments and more, the listener is immediately transported to the lands in which Pi spends his young life before his shipwreck adventure.  There is a feeling of tranquility throughout most of this score as Pi attempts to find himself through the various religions he has been exposed to.  I found it interesting that Pi’s Lullaby would become a theme that would appear in a number of tracks featuring Pi and his unlikely tiger companion – almost as if the same comfort felt when his mother sang him this lullaby as a child would be repeated in his companionship with this tiger.  Interesting.

                The Life of Pi Soundtrack doesn’t really tell the story of the movie, rather it serves to enhance the visuals of the film.  Some musical scores serve as storytellers and others are specifically created to enhance what viewers are seeing in the film.  This score is definitely created with the latter in mind.  That being said, this soundtrack is definitely interesting enough with its mystical moments and exotic beauty to make for a perfect standalone album as well.  The Life of Pi Soundtrack is definitely an album worth taking a listen to.


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