12 Dec 2012

Life of Pi

            - a magical journey
I actually started reading the book when the film was yet to be released but couldn’t finish it. After few chapters, I started to wonder how all this can be visualized in the big screen. But after watching the movie, the answer is simply asstttounnndding.

Life of Pi is an adventure film based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name. The story is about this young boy, Piscine Patel alias Pi, son of a zoo owner living in Pondicherry, India. The family decides to move the zoo to Canada, getting a ride on a huge Japanese cargo ship. On their way, the ship wrecks. After that, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a huge Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival, with a notebook n pencil to jot down his experiences, and few supplies of drinking water n biscuits to feed him.

How did he survive the sail with the wild animals on board? This is the basic storyline, where director Ang Lee adapts the novel so beautifully with amazing visual effects what Yann Martel did with words. As finally when Pi and Richard Parker left to struggle for their survival, they are pushed into a grand adventure and a spiritual voyage. We almost wish that the journey never ends with an entire spectrum of terrifying storms, scary lightning, thundering rain, dazzling rainbow added with those flying school of fishes, sharks, dolphins and those million cute meerkats carpeting the floating algae island, and all those colorfully glowing creatures of the dark sea. Wow. If the imagination through the novel was a fantasy, then the filmy version was magically realistic. It is such a tale that all the innovation feels right at home in a story where dreams and reality blend into one.

An excerpt from the novel…

‘Then the elderly man said, ‘I have a story that will make you believe in God’ ‘Does your story take place two thousand years ago in a remote corner of the Roman Empire?’ – I asked. ‘Was he some sort of Muslim evangelist? Does it take place in seventh-century Arabia?’ ‘No, no. It starts right here in Pondicherry just a few years back, and it ends, I am delighted to tell you, in the very country you come from.’ ‘And it will make me believe in God?’ ‘Yes.’

This is how n where the actual story of Pi Patel begins. Infact, I completed reading the final parts of the book after watching the movie. I wasn't very much into it for the first few chapters but only after the part 2, with its ceaselessly clever narration, I started to involve with the book. And when I reached the island with the meerkats, wow, I was in an awe state already.

The final chapters were more powerful. There was certainly a sad feeling, but at the same time there was definitely an uplifting sense to it. Dealing with a serious subject on screen and still being able to make the audience laugh is something truly admirable. The spiritual questions rose about the beliefs based on religion are philosophical and thought provoking. Does God exist? This adventure of Pi leads him and also us to the knowledge of God’s existence.

The story teaches us how to survive even at the worst situation. God's will is always unpredictable. Just when we lose hope, He makes us assured He is watching and is there to help us, thru human or animal or something else. God never gives us challenges which we can not face. And in this story, God never left Pi alone even when he thought he was abandoned. God gave him all the strength and courage to move on and survive the trial, in the form of the tiger, his only companion throughout the journey.

The film’s casting was perfect. Irfan Khan with his subtle and awesome acting as always and the way he delivers his dialogues takes on a journey thru out was cool and Tabu was brilliant in her role. The actor who played the father role was also really good. Suraj Sharma who played the young Pi, can’t ask for a better debut. He made use of it so well. We have Gérard Depardieu in a minor role as the ship’s cook but it made the point at the end what this role can do to Pi’s story.

The visual effect of Richard Parker was simply cool. It should be noted for the best supporting cast in Oscars. J The cinematography is a delight to watch with the places and sceneries, especially with the 3D effect.

For me, it’s usually hard to read a book especially after seeing the movie, but in this case, I wanted to complete the book and I think it’s worth it. Both the book n the film made me speechless even after it ends. The movie may not be like Avatar as they said. But this film in its own way is a masterpiece filled with humor and sorrow that bring tears to eyes.

The book is a good read. And the movie is a must watch. Preferably in 3D. and more than once.. my rating.. 4.7/5

Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Pi Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger. A visual treat to watch plus certainly a clever rendition of the supposedly unfilmable book. 


  1. im gona watch this film without any company... so i could enjoy to the fullest :P

    1. hmm.. dont take any company or for sure you will become more talkative ;-)

  2. Amazing...though i have neither seen the movie nor read the book...but am so much enthusiastic by now that i will go for it sooner or later...!!!

    1. Cool. Enjoy the movie experience in the cinemas :)

  3. I have a similar story to tell....I read the book in the 1st week of November and saw the film in the final week of the month....I also read my personal review of the book (you can check out in my blog) but thankfully the film was impressive as well and very true to the book.
    I was very disappointed with the way the directors had tampered with the Harry Potter films from 4th film onwards.

  4. Beautiful post, your description brought the movie back with such an ease. I should read the book.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Keep smiling,


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