I had the opportunity to watch "Life of Pi" today at the Picture Show at Main Place bargain theatre. This review is written through a Christian woman's perspective and let me just tell you, it is definitely a movie that is faith-based and about finding one's purpose in life.
This film was directed by Ang Lee, the same director for the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The movie has very amazing special effects throughout the entire film, especially when featuring the wildlife.
The movie starts with a scene of the amazing wildlife found in India. Pi is a grown adult and begins to tell his childhood story of survival to his friend who needs some ambition and an extra push to keep writing. He begins his story by telling his friend that he was raised in a zoo owned by his father and mother. Pi's father is a quick-witted man with a hot temper who relies on his expertise raising animals and teaches these harsh lessons to his boys as well.
Pi believes in karma and that there is a God. He was actually named after a famous pool in France and gets taunted for his long name at school so he shortens it to Pi to try and stop the taunting. Pi considers himself a "Catholic Hindu" and his friend laughs at the title. Pi explains to his friend that he was raised a Hindu as a child and that there are three million gods as a Hindu and as a child he learned to see the gods as super heroes. He is introduced to Christ when he is twelve years old by family that live in the mountains. He wonders "Why would God send his son to die for ordinary people?"His uncle answers with "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Pi explains to his friend that God works in mysterious ways. And that then he was introduced to Allah.
We, the audience, are then taken to the dinner table where Pi explains that he won't eat lamb because he is a vegetarian. His father laughs at him for trying to follow three religions. His mother defends him and explains to his father that he is only trying to find his way.
Pi now explains to his friend that he considers himself a Christian, Muslim and a Hindu. He goes on to explain that "faith is a house with many rooms" and that "you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is being tested."
The story then takes the form of a sudden push for the family to move out of India due to political turmoil. The family sells the zoo lot and takes all their zoo animals with them on a Japanese cargo ship that sets sail to Canada.
Pi quickly realizes that his father's harsh lessons will come in handy when he is deserted in the middle of the ocean due to a storm that leads to a shipwreck. He finds himself in a life boat with a single tiger friend that he must tame while shipwrecked for a long time. We don't know the exact time frame, but he tallies on the boat what seems like several months. He cries out to God one night when he finds himself in a storm almost shipwrecked again.
I will stop when the tiger and boy land in an enchanted island. I didn't really understand the message from the director after the boy lands on an enchanted island. The movie is two hours and five minutes long. A bit too long, I must say.
If you are looking to find purpose for your life or highly enjoy animals and special effects, then this is a great movie. If you are a person of faith, this is also a great flick.