Having never read the book, I had no idea what the Life of Pi would be about. Maths probably. However, seeing the trailer quickly put this idea to rest and I was intrigued as to how anyone could survive on a boat with a Bengal Tiger, even if his name was Richard Parker (anyone else imagine him in a suit with glasses and a briefcase? No? Awkward).
We are immediately introduced to a failed writer (we can assume he is supposed to be Yann Martel. Not saying that he was a failed writer though. Obvs.) who found our protagonist, Pi, in his post-boat-with-tiger Canadian suberb in the hope of being told a story that he can not only publish but that will ‘make him believe in God.’ Bet you’re all trying to guess the title of the finished product aren’t you? I’ll give you a clue, it’s about Pi and his life. I’ll give you a minute.
Then comes the good bit. We are taken back to when Pi was a young boy, growing up on his parent’s Zoo in India and soon learn about the origin of his name, Pissing. Oops, I mean Piscine. After a close call with a Tiger and a mini romance with the local beauty, Pi’s family head to Canada to make a new life for themselves. What happens next can only be described as a cross between Titanic and the BBC’s recent Africa.
After the freighter ship hits ferocious storms and sinks, Pi is left on a life boat with Richard Parker, a Zebra with a broken leg, a hyena and later on an Orangutan, who floated in on some bananas. What are the chances? What follows is a fearful, inspiring, slightly trippy series of events which, let’s face it, we would all like to witness. Maybe without the tiger. And the hyena. Or the sharks come to think of it. Might skip on the jellyfish and the cannibal island too.
All in all, Life of Pi is about one boy’s fight for survival against all odds and the lessons he learnt because of them. As viewers, we are subtly taught about courage, playing the card you are dealt and speaking without the need for words.
In a report to some men in suits towards the end, Pi changes his story to become more ‘realistic’, not including Richard Parker in his suit.
The question is, which one did you prefer? I know my fave.