Firstly I must say that this film is one of the better adaptations of literature I've seen to date. Having read the book before, overall I believe it includes the right amount without really tearing away from the majesty of the story. It's stunning and the visual effects are jaw dropping, not because of likeness but because of it's perspective and it's wonderful sense of magical realism that one seems to find so rarely in film these days.
I must address that it's rather awful what the company Rhythm & Hues, that did all of the VFX for Life of Pi, has been dealing with since the film and some of the protests that have been going on recently for the VFX industry in general. Besides the company having had to file for bankruptcy, the poor visual effects team that accepted the award at the Oscars this past Sunday were shooed off stage with none other then the Jaws theme just as they began to address the issue. I don't think it was clever or funny for the Jaws theme to be used in that manner, it was simply disrespectful, for any of the winners it was used on to sweep offstage.
Besides that take a look at an open letter that one of the lead compositors of the film addressed to Ang Lee. For a film and story that relies so heavy on one's imagination, the manner in which VFX was used was remarkable. It just shows the quality that VFX can produce if done properly, and it's unfortunate that all this negativity is being swirled up with all of this.
In the end, the film is outstanding and it should be viewed. It's a wonderful adaptation of a beautiful piece of writing by Yann Martel which you can grab from your local bookstore, library or even form Amazon. I'm sure most cities are extending their screenings of Life of Pi because of the recent awards it's garnered. So keep your eyes out.
Happy moviegoing folks!