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- Life of Pi (2012) reviewed by Jordan Smith
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Life of Pi (2012)
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain
Director: Ang Lee
Synopsis: A tragedy at sea strikes Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) and his family while they travel from India to Canada leaving just Pi and a tiger on a lifeboat, stranded and fighting against each other to survive the harsh conditions of being lost at sea. In order to survive, Pi must rely on the provisions of God and learn to handle the good and bad situations that occur in his life.
Reviewer’s rating: 3.4/5
Ang Lee had delivered many different genres of movies and continues to change his style of movie making for this film as opposed to his previous movies (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000; Brokeback Mountain, 2005). Lee fills our hearts with awe-inspiring visual effects bringing the ocean and our imaginations to life.
When the adult Pi Patel is asked about his quest to find God, He takes us through a vivid story of his survival at sea with a Bengal tiger in the life raft with him. His family needed to move from India to Canada after they were forced out of the lease for their zoo. Once their boat capsizes and He stuck on the boat, he goes through an unbelievable tale about Richard Parker (the Bengal tiger), carnivorous floating tree islands, and the power of nature. The story is truly unbelievable and when it was told to the Japanese reporters who questioned him about his survival they denied his journey and asked for a more believable story they could write about. Instead he tells a realistic story of how he was stuck on the lifeboat with three other survivors who were all killed by each other within the first week of being on the boat. After telling the two stories, he leaves his past ambiguous by not telling the true story but asks the reporter what story he wanted to believe and essentially offering the idea that we can choose to believe God and the extraordinary life or the believable rational life.
The movie itself poses many thought-provoking questions concerning God and his existence given our present circumstances whether they are good or bad. Lee’s ability to characterize a tiger and the ocean as well pulls us into a story which otherwise would be story with only one character. The acting on behalf of Suraj Sharma (Pi) reveals the struggles we face within our own being and did a good job at acting out his own thoughts when no one was there to see them.
From a Christian world perspective, the life of Pi shows many blatant references to postmodernism by presenting Pi as a Muslim, Hindu, and Christian. It also displays faith in God as being opposed to reality and rationality, which is a low, two dimensional view of any religion. Objectively, it presents the idea that true meaning does not always come simply as it appears to us in real life and does a great job at displaying this through the two stories and for this, it is a captivating film that I believe is entertaining and intriguing.
By Jordan Smith