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Life of Pi – Which story do you prefer?   Leave a comment

The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity – it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.” – Yann Martel – Life of Pi

Well the essence of Life of Pi is clearly explained in the above statement and incorporating the same in the movie, I am really glad that it did the book justice. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and had dismissed that Martel’s work would be made into a movie because I thought that some of elements of the book were practically unfilmable. But I was wrong, with big budget and CG Visual effects, anything’s possible nowadays.

Life of PI

I hardly enjoy the experience of watching a movie in 3-D but Life of pi proved it otherwise, consistently the movie is filled with hauntingly beautiful images and is accompanied with stunning cinematography (Claudio Miranda). esp the opening credits (Pi’s lullaby written and sung by Bombay Jayshree ) where in the monkey hops onto different braches, it is just remarkably filmed. Image rendering for Richard parker is simply outstanding and lastly, the vivid Storm Sequence which is indeed the best 3D filmed part of the movie.

Life of Pi breaks the paradigm that 3-D has to be some big, action fantasy spectacle, superhero movie. The movie is visually amazing, inventive, and it works on you in ways you’re not really aware of.” – James Cameron (3D pioneer) commenting on 3D aspect integrated in the motion picture.

Coming to the differences between the movie and the book, the most important one is the climax. In the movie – Pi narrates the story to the Japanese insurance people and asks the writer to which story he liked better. The writer says the one with the animals. But it the book Pi narrates the alternate story to Japanese insurance people and asks them which story they like better. They agree they like the story with the animals better and thus they write a letter to him and present a report which in its essential part contains the story with the animals. Many of the people, those who haven’t read the book  get really confused.

Also, I was a little disappointed at the lack of anxiety, tension in the 2nd half of the movie, The book explains that in detail, say for eg: There were many seas. The sea roared like a tiger. The sea whispered in your ear like a friend telling you secrets. The sea clinked like small change in a pocket. The sea thundered like avalanches. The sea hissed like sandpaper working on wood. The sea sounded like someone vomiting. The sea was dead silent. And Pi spent almost 227 days on a lifeboat!!! and he literally wanted death to take him away due to incessant suffering.

Which story do you prefer?  The one with the tiger? Or the alternate story with the sailor, cook and mother ? This is the crux of the movie and it is arguable that most of them would choose the story with the tiger in it because it has the spiritual, aesthetic, and cinematic elements. For example if you are presented with two options to pick a pizza for the dinner : 1. Margherita pizza with extra cheese, extra tomato, extra sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil or 2. Just Plain Margherita pizza with no toppings, what would you choose? Majority of the will blindly choose the first option and therefore it is grossly unfair that if one picks the tiger story just because it is better, then according to the movie/Adult Piscine Molitor Patel (movie), it automatically will make you believe in God. This is totally absurd!

Nonetheless, Life of Pi is a beautifully made film for all ages, with great storytelling it does explore variety of topics like, hope, spirituality, fear, faith, death and above all the willingness to survive against all odds.


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