Oscar® Winner for Best Directing, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Music (original score)
NOMINEE FOR: Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design
Life of Pi
Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher
Teens Adults Family
Fantasy Adventure Drama Adaptation 3D
2 hr. 6 min.
Year of Release:
September 28, 2012 (festival)
November 21, 2012 (wide—2,700+ theaters)
DVD: March 12, 2013
being shipwrecked and adrift in the ocean, alone
Pi is born a Hindu, but as a child is introduced to Christianity and Islam, and starts to follow all three religions, as he “just wants to love god.” He is trying to understand God through each religion. Are there truly many ways to God? Are all religions basically the same? Answer
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer
If God made everything, who made God? Answer
What does God say? Answer
Is Jesus Christ God? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What is Monism and Pantheistic Monism? Who believes in Monism? Is it biblical? Answer
animal psychology / being the alpha
animals in the Bible
zookeeping / taking care of diverse types of animals
“Believe the unbelievable”
Anyone who has either read the best-selling novel by Yann Martel or has seen the trailer to the film “Life of Pi” should be utterly familiar with it’s seemingly impossible premise. Simply stated, the movie follows the adventure of a zoo keeper’s son who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Sound implausible, well not in the capable hands of director Ang Lee.
Pi Patel, is the curious son of a zoo-keeper in Pondicherry India. When the family is forced to move from India to Canada, Pi, his family and their zoo of exotic animals find themselves on a large ocean liner crossing the Pacific Ocean. When the vessel is swallowed up by a large storm Pi is tossed into a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and Richard Parker, the aforementioned 450-pound Bengal tiger, and thrust into the adventure that will change the course of both their lives.
The film itself is rated PG primarily for the action sequences in the film and the thematic premise of the protagonist being alone on a life boat with a 450-pound tiger ready to eat him for dinner. There are a handful of minor “hells” and “damns”, but other than that the film is non-objectionable to most general audiences.
An aspect of the story that some Christian audiences may find troubling is how the film deals with religion and faith, which play a key role in the story. In the course of events leading up to Pi and his family finding themselves on an ocean liner traveling from India to Canada, Pi is on a journey himself, one to find religious “truth.” In his quest he researches Hinduism, Islam and Christianity and finds himself identifying with aspects from all three major religions. The film does not take a particular stance as to which religion is best or bring Pi what he is searching for, but the role of God, capital G, plays a major part in Pi’s adventure.
To those who have read the book and were pleased with the book, chances are the film will not live up to the expectations one would have from the novel. However, it will probably not disappoint as the adaptation is very true to the book, except for a couple liberties taken by the screenwriters/director to bring the story from page to screen.
If available, do yourself a favor and see the film in 3D, though the film’s backdrop for a majority of the film is the Pacific Ocean, there are sequences in this film that are visually spectacular and only made more stunning through the perspective of 3D.
Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
Editor’s caution: Pi is born a Hindu, but as a child is introduced to Christianity (via Roman Catholicism) and Islam, and starts to follow all three religions, as he “just wants to love god.” He is trying to understand God through each religion. This is the book author’s way of looking at religion, and it is promoted in the film. Are there truly many ways to God? Are all religions basically the same, as some claim? No. See our answer!
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
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