Ever thought what if you ended up alone with a massive predator on a life boat? For Piscine Molitor Patel this is not just a bad nightmare, but an actual reality.
The movie ‘Life of Pi”,adapted from Yann Martel’s 2001 bestseller, follows Pissing Patel’s journey from childhood to a family man. Piscine Molitor is named after a French swimming pool which was once visited by his uncle. Angry of being nicknamed as Pissing he changes his name to the Greek letter ‘Pi’ whose mathematical value he memorises by heart. Though his name may suggest that his prime interest had been studying mathematics but he was more interested in religion and its study. So engrossed he was by God and its creation(nature) he once ventured into his father’s zoo to become friends with a tiger. He was rightly taught a lesson by his father(an atheist) for this. After that incident Pi’s life lacked adventure till he met Anandi.
Poor business luck took him away from Anandi and India. His voyage to Canada was interrupted by a nasty storm which led to his losing his family and ending up on a life boat with an injured Zebra, ‘Orange Juice’ an Orangutan, a Hyena and the only animal who lived- the Bengal tiger. The movie goes on teaching many lessons- firstly, protecting oneself from predators, then training a dangerous animal and finally becoming friends with nature’s gift. The movie explores open sky, deep ocean and uncharted mid-water land mass.
Pi and Richard Parker( the tiger) had to spend a long time together captivated in a boat hungry beyond endurance. Pi tried to make fishes Richard’s meal which were not always a worthy substitute for himself. Later hunger drove Pi so desperate that he began to fight with Richard for meals. But it must be seen that one was alive for the other. So it was necessary for them to become best friends after all. They face challenges together. Pi with more brain always took the lead and after enduring a violent night in each others lap they at last find land and relief. But Pi made a mysterious discovery on the island which made him realise the meaning and feeling of life. He realised that his body was not meant to stay and decay on that island. So again he began his search for his own species. And after many long days he was successful. Pi still wishes that he had said good-bye to Parker before he disappeared into the forest but it was never to be.
The movie asks many questions and challenges many norms. Pi is a boy who is born into a family of Hindu but is equally devoted to Christianity and Islam. Can he find peace, love and God through all religions? Can he follow them all together? In modern society which do we respect more- science or religion? Can animals feel the presence of God? But it starts from a simple question , the most complex question to answer- Does God exist? If you believe in the story of Pi you will surely believe in God.
The sad thing is the movie differentiates between science and religion. Does no one realise that both science and religion are searching for the same thing – the truth. And one has the need of one as of the other just like Pi and Richard.
But let not the fact that you now already know the plot stop you from investing on the tickets of “Life of Pi” because there is more to discover and to understand in the newcomer Suraj Sharma starrer. The movie has an awesome direction by Ang Lee. I have not found better scenic views in any other film. And the 3D animation can not be missed. I must also mention that each and every actor has acted each and every part in the most perfect way. And after all why shouldn’t be so if Irrfan Khan and Tabu are acting. Best of all- the film switches from humour to faith to romance to tragedy to adventure with a perfect ending.
Get ready to laugh and whimper at the same time. Good luck!