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Life of Pi

February 22, 2013

Life of Pi is an American adventure movie realised in 2012 by Ang Lee, that I had the opportunity to watch  in 3D.


The movie begins in today’s Montreal, Canada; a novelist wants to hear the story of a man called Pi, because they say that it is so incredible that “it could make you believe in God”, and so it can make an interesting topic for a book.

First of all, Pi relates his childhood. We learn that he comes from Pondichery, India and that he grew in the zoo that his father owned. The story of his name is one of the funniest sequence of the film ! We learn that actually his whole name is Piscine Molitor Patel, in reference to the French swimming-pool that his parents considered as the most beautiful of the earth. Unfortunately, this out-of-the-common name provoked the mockings of his classmates because of the likeness with the word “pissing”. However, when he arrived in the secondary school, he changed his name to “Pi” the mathematical symbol.

Another huge motif in the story of Pi is religion. Although he was raised in Hinduism, Pi has always been attracted by almost all the existing religions. Indeed, the fact that he lived in India, a really multicultural country, helped him to discover different religions such as Islam and Christianism.

One day, Pi’s father announces to his family that they have to leave India to begin a new life because they lack money. However, they will be hit by a big storm and the only survivor is Pi. He is desperate and crying. Then he realises that he is not alone but that there are Richard Parker, the tiger that his father owned and a monkey and a hyena. At least only the tiger and Pi will stay on the boat because the hyena will kill the monkey and in revenge Pi will kill the hyena.

Then, the whole movie is focused on how Pi tries to survive in this isolated area, far from everything and with a tiger. Said like that it seems to be very boring and “déjà vu” to see a man lost in the sea and the mention of the tiger could be perceived as a fairytale. However, I don’t know how the director manages to do that but even if this theme has already been tackled several times, he created something new and unexpected with a real existencialistic thought.

Moreover, I find the use of 3D effects very relevant because it is surprising. Usually, I don’t find interest in 3D (I hate Avatar movie) but in this movie it is very efficient. This movie is both beautiful owing to its fantastical images and to the message of tolerance and hope that it conveys. Last but not least, the end is very paradoxical and some of us could not like it, because it doesn’t bring answers but it lets us the liberty to interpret the whole movie.


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