Set off by musical selections from Sigur Ros and Coldplay, the new trailer for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling 2001 novel “Life of Pi” makes for a lavish visual feast. As Pi Patel (played as an adult by Irrfan Kahn) narrates this adventurous epic, we are treated to tableaux of lush Indian foliage, candlelit rivers and colorful exotic creatures. There’s also a storm at sea, a drowning zebra and a shipwreck, just so things don’t get too dreamy.
Martel’s novel, which won the Mann Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002, follows Pi’s magical 227-day journey over the Pacific Ocean aboard a lifeboat he shares with a Bengal Tiger, which figures prominently in the trailer. Religion plays an important role in the novel, and it will be interesting to see whether Lee’s “Pi” remains faithful to the story’s spiritual center or drifts toward more conventionally swashbuckling tropes. Aesthetically quite stunning, the trailer offers few clues on the subject.
“Life of Pi” will have its world premiere Friday, Sept. 28, at the New York Film Festival, ahead of its theatrical opening through Fox November 21.