Thoughts on Life of Pi

A young man. A boat. A tiger. An unbelievable journey. An ending that will keep the wheels of your mind turning.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you MUST see it – watch “Life of Pi” folks. You will not regret it. And watch it in 3D if you can.

This is a slightly overdue review. Well, it’s not really a review. It’s more of my thoughts concerning the movie since I don’t really write formal critiques. But I shall be writing more pieces like this this year so as to challenge myself to think more critically.

I saw this movie last year with some friends. It was our pre-Christmas treat and what a treat it was!

“Life of Pi” is a film directed by Ang Lee based on a book by Yann Martel with the same title. It tells the story of — what else? The life of Pi. Or Piscine Molitor Patel, to be exact. The first part of the film paints a portrait of his childhood — his evolution from Pissing Patel to Pi 3.1416, his encounters with different religions, and his life living with a zoo as his playground and backyard. The second (and major) part documents the 227 days in which he is shipwrecked in a lifeboat with none other than Richard Parker — the tiger. And the third part —

Well, the third part I shall leave it for you to discover. All I can say is that it involves Japanese men and a thought-provoking final question.

So what are my thoughts regarding the movie?

  1. The cinematography was EYE CANDY. I found the opening scene a bit too slow for my liking but it did paint a picture of the easy and serene life Pi had pre-shipwreck. And the animals were great. And the scenery made me want to go to India. Fast forward to his 227-day stay in a lifeboat — can a shipwreck be any more breathtaking? The reflections of the sunset, the glowing undersea creatures, the HUMPBACK WHALE. Oh. My. I’d consider being lost at sea if it weren’t for all the danger and battle for survival involved.
  2. Suraj Sharma, the Indian actor who portrays the teenage Pi, deserves a standing ovation. Considering most of his scenes involved “just” himself and a CGI tiger (monologue anyone?) — let me just say that Suraj Sharma is one actor to watch out for.
  3. The film had just the right mixture of drama and laughs. I guess we’ll have to hand that to Martel because most of the humorous lines came from the book itself (I am still halfway through the book — yes, I am reading it because I still can’t get Richard Parker out of my mind).
  4. ************************ WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD **********************

    The ending. At first I thought the film was just about an adventure. I thought it was just about surviving with at tiger in a lifeboat. But no. It was more than that. It will really make you think. It will make you think about what Pi’s father had said to his son — how animals have no souls and what we see in their eyes is a mere reflection of our own emotions. But then it will make you think of what Pi himself said in the end, “And so it is with God.” Well, reading other reviews, I found out the final question also wasn’t just about Richard Parker and Richard Parker alone. It also questioned Truth as Truth, considering all the different religions Pi had involved himself in. That’s why I’m reading the book. Knowing the ending sort of spoils the “surprise” experience, but going over the pages with the twist in mind now allows me analyse all the different encounters and lets me see beyond their face values. So which truth is truth? Does it matter? For me it does. But in the end, it’s all up to us to decide for ourselves.  
    ***************************** SPOILERS END HERE ******************************

What about you? Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts about it? Any favorite scene? (Make sure to add a spoiler alert for the sake of those who haven’t seen it yet! ^_~) Do you plan on seeing it after reading this impression-slash-review? Share your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!