Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Life of Pi - Thoughts on the Conclusion

I recently watched Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi. I was dazzled by the ingenuity and creativity of the filmmakers and crew that went into developing a film such as this.

Like most people, I began a discussion after watching the movie and hearing Pi present two plausible stories to the reporters about an account of what had happened during his journey. A quote that was used by Pi, "and so it goes with God", was used to present a case for believing or not believing. It challenges the viewer to make an act of faith.

My partner I watched the film with chose to believe that the story with the animals actually took place. After some reflection I chose to believe the opposite. I believe that the moment in which the spotted Hyena or Cook killed Pi's mother or Orangutan , Pi became the embodiment of the the Tiger. It was out of necessity that Pi took on characteristics of the Tiger, as a means of survival. Unfortunately this paints a darker picture of human nature, but I feel a more realistic one.

Richard Parker did save Pi's life, without Pi betraying some core-concepts he previously held (not eating fish or meat being one of most significant) Pi would have never survived. The monent where Richard Parker waits on the island in the boat was significant as he was telling Pi, "Life is more than just eating and surviving. Being here is existing in your basic form".

When Pi was found washed upon the shores of the Mexican coast, the Tiger leaves him. Saying goodbye to Richard after being together for over two-hundred days was extremely hard for Pi. This was because Pi relied on Tiger's strength and determination to survive. Richard leaves Pi, as Pi himself no longer needs Richard. I believe this movie is a psychological testament of our ability to create and manipulate reality for the purpose of self preservation and survival. I can only imagine the physical, emotional, and psychological hardships someone like Pi must have gone through to survive.


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