This is one of the movies I was least looking forward to watching if only because I remember the book sounding terribly boring in ninth grade. The prospect of watching or reading a kid narrate his life in a boat sounded dull, this all coming from a girl who loves Cast Away. What really surprised me was that the film isn’t about the boy and a tiger. The film is really about discovering yourself, as well as your faith.
The movie is told through flashback, staring all the way back when Pi was a child. He calls himself a “Catholic Hindu” that partakes in all types of religion in order to become closer with God. Pi grows older, taking a particular liking to Richard Parker, a tiger in his father’s zoo. Soon his family is forced to move, taking all of their animals overseas to a new. It is here that tragedy strikes the boat, causing it to sink with nearly all the passengers on board.
The film constantly asks the question of why God lets bad things happen to good people, which Pi frequently wonders. It’s one of those things we all ask at least once in our lives, but I never expected this much religion out of the story, not that it was bad. I loved Pi’s idea of multiple pathways to God, and is one I was was a little more openly accepted in society. In the end we are left to decide if Pi’s story was real or a fabrication that he made up to preserve his sanity on the boat. Like most, I like to think everything was true. There is something undeniably fantastic about surviving the 100+ days with only a tiger for company.
Even if you aren’t looking for a religious experience, Life of Pi is, if anything, an example of visual effects done correctly. The movie is gorgeous, even in its simplest scenes. Looking at Richard Parker, you would never know he wasn’t real unless you were looking for it. And when you think about the huge demonstration put on by the visual effects artist during the Oscars, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would refuse to just throw money at these people.
When it boils down to it, Life of Pi is a beautiful movie with a beautiful message. I may not run out to read the book the way I did with Silver Linings, but it’s definitely on my “To Read” list.