Plot[ edit ] The novel begins with a note from the author, which is an integral part of it. Unusually, the note describes entirely fictional events. It serves to establish and enforce one of the book's main themes:
SHARE Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, this bold and remarkable film is an adventure set in the realm of magical realism, and centers on an Indian boy named Pi Patel, the son of a prudent and cautious zoo keeper. The film is directed by Ang Lee, who brought us the breathtaking romantic swordplay in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"—which won 10 Oscar nominations, becoming the first Asian film and only the seventh foreign-language offering to ever get a nod for Best Picture.
In the story, which starts with the obligatory cute prologue about an precocious boy, the family decides to move from India to Canada, bringing many of the animals with them.
When the freighter carrying the family hits a storm, the stage is set for the main act — Pi is left adrift on a foot lifeboat, lost in the Pacific Ocean, in the company of a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker—all vying in a grim competition for survival.
It should be noted that this project has long been considered unfilmable due to the concept, as a long line of directors including M.
Night Shyamalan were attached to the project and every single one… jumped ship. In terms of production challenges and a tightly constrained budget, Ang Lee was forced to wrestle with a tiger of his own.
That bet paid off. Not only were the orangutan and tiger exquisitely portrayed in terms of facial emotions, like an orangutan pensively looking over the sea thinking about a lost child… The filmmakers even did motion capture on four real-life tigers who were on set!
Also, 3D is ideally suited for rendering a hypnotically beautiful roiling sea. As a result, the film dramatically renders the distance between Pi and the tiger, the restricted space of the lifeboat, and the overwhelming endless horizons of the ocean all around them. For this reason, this rare film adaptation is actually more entertaining than the book.
However, Lee never tries to show off with those digital effects; he controls them with a firm hand, forcing them to serve the telling of the story unobtrusively.
The director treats us to some truly magical images filled with majestic whales and the reflection of a tapestry of stars over a calm and peaceful sea. Just as the exquisite beauty of the ocean is revealed just beneath the drama unfolding on the lifeboat, the true meaning of the film lies gently beneath the surface of the story.
The story is so moving that even President Barack Obama, in a letter to the author, described it as "an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling". This story is a gedanken experiment for the worst case scenario, a modern day story of Job, all about how you can find spirituality and the meaning of life in the throes of all that is horrible and terrible in the world today.
It is by surviving and making sense of all that goes wrong in the world, that uncovers the meaning of man. The other story, where humans are reduced primal terror, could lead only to a brutally shattered life. In this story, you could see the entire story as an abandonment by God… but at the same time, it becomes evident that God was actually present at every moment.
And in the end, he realizes that Richard Parker is actually his savior. In the same way, God is actually all around us, and still, so many of us are unable to receive the manna of heaven. The sea torments Pi with waves, threatens him with sharks, and even robs him of his family.
At the same time, the sea also gives him life. It rains flying fish upon him, it grows a magical garden of algae, and in the end, bestows the gift of wisdom. The characters in The Life of Pi — like in any dream, since film is essentially collective dreaming — are all actually components of the self.
All are essential for becoming who we are. However, the most important component of self is the raft… which represents his faith. It is something that he has to construct by himself, in order to be effective.
The through line — ie, the spine of this remarkable tale — is that it is his raft that never forsakes him. More than any other part of the the tale, it is the invisible force that finally brings him to safety and the force that transforms him into the individual he finally becomes.
Our challenges are what help to define us; what guides us to becoming more. What greater challenge can there be than trapped with a ferocious tiger?Nov 21, · Suraj Sharma in “Life of Pi,” directed by Ang Lee and based on the novel by Yann Martel.
Credit Rhythm & Hues/20th Century Fox. It is spoiling nothing to disclose that Pi . An Unfilmable Novel? Many literary critics raved over Yann Martel's Life of Pi (), but most thought that the novel was unfilmable. Just consider the many obstacles set in the path of potential.
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words. 3 pages. Yann Martel’s Booker Prize winning book, Life of Pi has been transformed beautifully into celluloid by Ang Lee of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain fame.
Life of Pi was an inspiring book and this is a beautifully written film review, but I'm not sure why it was published on Psychology Today. I was looking for an in depth psychological analysis of the book, but this is an opinion piece with strong religious assumptions, and very little science.
In the novel Life of Pi written by Canadian author Yann Martel, a relationship develops between a Bengal tiger and Pi, who are stranded on a lifeboat after a horrific shipwreck Richard Parker and Pi seem to be full of opposites as the ordeal at sea begins.