Laurie En

Laurie En

English account.

Life of Pi: an absolute must-see journey

mardi 14 mai 2013      Life of Pi [DVD]

Life of Pi, directed by the Taiwanese Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Hulk), is one of the biggest box office hit of the end of the year 2012. Based on Yann Martel's novel, the movie retraces the astounding journey of the young Indian Pi Patel, son of a zoo owner who decided to migrate to Canada with his family and menagerie, hoping to find better living conditions there. But the ship expected to travel them to North America is going to wreck, and it is a miracle that Pi managed to reach a lifeboat... on which he will not be alone, because the fearsome Bengal tiger Richard Parker seems to have taken up residence there too.

The movie is quite long to start : we first have to face a very detailed introduction to the characters and their life in India in magnificient sceneries which remind us of another Indian movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Religion remains an omnipresent topic in the family debates, and the young hero tells us about his scolary misadventures often related to his unusually twisted first name chosen by his father. In fact, Pi is the short-form of Piscine Molitor (Molitor swimming-pool).. Let's admit it really sounds strange. But once that our merry companions board on the ship – facing a particularly ruthless Gerard Depardieu – the movie can start for real, and the 3D can now run its process. Sceneries of a sea sometimes quiet, sometimes infuriated are impressive, and the landscapes of the meerkats' island or the starry sky are completely dazzling. We come accross phosphorescent whales, schools of flying fishes, luxurious jungle, sunsets of radiant beauty : we will all be delighted by this stunning visual show just as we were for Avatar or Titanic (both directed by the visual genius James Cameron).
The unprecedented and at the very least embarrassing situation Pi will find himself will oblige him to show ingenuity and wisdom in the face of the aggressive feline. Both guided by their survival instincts, they will manage to live side by side, and the viewer will attend the developing friendship between the fawn and the young boy, who is going to struggle against hunger and madness. Despite the lenghts of the script and some incongruous talks, the great show offered by the movie director will relieve the boredom and satisfy both young and not so young anymore viewers. The end of the movie leads us furthermore to an additional plot, which could be interpretated differently by each of us.

Whatever the genre he explores in his movies is, Lee knows how to do things well, and he loved to prove it once again with the magnificient movie Life Of Pi. He has a great concern for language, an expert judgment about images and knows how to fit his style to his new projects. So what else could have Life Of Pi been except an absolutely breath-taking movie?

The war is not finished yet for the Shadowhunters

mardi 14 mai 2013      Mortal Instruments 5: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments)

Jace is missing. And Sebastian is alive, trying to bring Lilith back. Clary is determined to find her boyfriend and to bring him back to his family, but it appears that Jace is actually on the run with anyone other than Clary's brother Sebastian. If the Clave learnt about it, they would obviously try to capture – or even to kill – them. The young girl will request the support of her best friend, the vampire Simon, wearing the Mark of Cain which makes him untouchable, and they will solicit the Seelie Queen for help. She will ask them to give her back two Faerie rings, which allow the wearers to communicate telepathically. After they decided to keep them for their own use, Clary tells Simon she wants to go with Jace and Sebastian, in order to spy them and to discover what their plans are. But as she joins both of them, it appears that Sebastian is possessing her beloved Jace, and that he is more powerful and worse he ever was... and if one of the boys dies, the other dies at the same time.

This book is already the fifth of The Mortal Instruments series, and the story gets always a bit darker. Between nightmares, betrayals, revenge and vicious conspiracies, Clary will have to face her deepest fear: losing Jace forever. Because she does not know if he will ever be good again, or if he will be killed by Sebastian or the Clave.
There is not much suspense in this volume, but Clare is able to give a new dimension to her characters; those who did not like Clary's innocence and kind of stupidity (when she acts without thinking and skirts death) will probably be forced to admit that her stubborness makes her brave and fearless. The Sebastian we knew in the past books was evil-incarnate, while we can discover in City of Lost Souls an interesting and nearly pitiful young boy, raised by a violent father who did experiments on him and never taught him to act and to feel like a human. The author is also able to develop many peripheral plots aside the main one, which keep the readers out of breath throughout the 535 pages.

It seems clear that Cassandra Clare is completely devoted to her Shadowhunters' world and stories, and her love for them is reflected in the way she describes everything they think, they dream of, or even everything they wear.
The Mortal Instruments series is one of the best young adult fantasy series of the recent years and opens the doors to a brand new world no one ever explored before.
After reading this book, you will obviously be looking forward to the next one... just wait patiently a few months by!

Better watch out, New-York!

lundi 13 mai 2013      City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)

In this first volume of The Mortal Instruments series, written by Cassandra Clare – and a best-seller in the United-States – we discover the fantastic and exciting Shadowhunters' universe. They are chasing vampires and other werewolves in the streets of New-York City. Our a priori common young heroine is going to discover herself some hidden powers while she enters the world of the gorgeous and arrogant Jace, the best Shadowhunter of his generation.

The Mortal Instruments is an absolutely addictive saga . The reader finds himself propelled into a world which had been entirely created by Cassandra Clare. Vampires and werewolves are here way more credible than in some other teenage romances. Although the narrative structure/outline remains a bit classic, the sets and battle scenes are described with precision, which takes us to the heart of the action. There are no unnecessary lengths, the author goes straight to the point, without any frill or endless portrayals. Characters are coherent and endearing, also reflecting profound depths of minds which are often omitted in many young adults' novels.
Clare builds a strong and original synopsis between fantasy and science-fiction, making sure her plot makes sense and keeps her readers out of breath from the first to the last page.

We don't read this book, we live it. And those who are already addicted can be reassured: The City of Bones is only the first book of a series of six volumes!