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LIFE OF PI Movie Review

Finally, one of the most engaging, best-selling reads was made into a movie!  LIFE OF PI tells the touching story of a boy lost at sea after the boat he is on with his family and all of their zoo animals capsizes.

I remember, after reading this book for book club years ago, that it would make a great movie and it was thrilling to see such an excellent adaption into film, especially with all the special effects. I chose to see LIFE OF PI in 3D and it is meant to be seen that way as you feel like you are on the lifeboat with Pi and his tiger, Richard Parker.

It has been said that this 3D movie is the best one since AVATAR and I would agree. The other similarity between these movies is that they both examine deep, philosophical and spiritual concepts in a mainstream way. These are exactly the types of stories I want to see more of (and plan to produce in the future!) and they signify the best in class of the “mindful movie” genre.

There isn’t much to say about this movie without examining the very end so if you haven’t seen the film yet, please do so and then check back here as I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

LIFE OF PI ending:
It was fascinating to discuss the metaphors and meaning in this film with my friends after the screening. To me, this film is about the mind and the stories we tell ourselves and others. It provides a mirror for us to see the way we examine our own lives and how we view truth and God.

My biggest take-away is that whatever we believe is our truth. There is no such thing as absolute truth, especially when something can’t be proven?! Only Pi knows what happened to him at sea and yet he tells two believable stories and asks which one we prefer which leaves us wondering and grasping for an answer. Why is it that we crave to know the answers so badly? Why do we demand the truth or fight for it when it’s so hard to prove something we all see differently? Why is it we are so uncomfortable with the unknown?

What I love about this film is that it asks us to accept and to have faith. We each have a different view of religion and spirituality and we each have our own God. Pi’s father believed in hard, cold facts and science. I used to be like this and was an Aetheist for years until I had experiences I couldn’t explain and had a deep desire to BELIEVE in something grander than human suffering. I’m a lot more like Pi now, appreciating all religions and the value in each.

This film is amazing because it calls forward our inner need for beauty and to choose the story that is full of love and connection. The other option is to believe in a disturbing story of human savagery. This is a deep reflection of our main choice in life: to listen to the beast/ego within or to chose the love-filled, hope-inspiring journey. The most fascinating part of life is that both are happening right now as you read this……we leave in the duality of war and peace, love and fear, acceptance and hatred and both realities fully exist. I am blessed to see more light than darkness each day and I consciously choose this by not watching the news and engaging with inspirational content.

Whatever story we tell is OUR story and often we would rather be right than happy so we cling to our stories, even if they make us suffer. Pi tells the story that he feels in his heart and we all want to believe. We want to feel that a tiger can love us despite it’s animal instincts to kill us and that miracles happen.

Besides the truth, this story has us yearning for something else…..closure. Pi doesn’t receive this with his family since they die so quickly and traumatically. He also doesn’t receive it with Richard Parker as the tiger never turns to say good-bye. As viewers we are also left without closure because we are left wondering what really happened in the life of Pi.

Yet the key to the entire mystery and to the closure is the most profound and metaphorical line in the movie: “And so it goes with God.” Pi says this after the writer picks the story he prefers and to me it means that only God is our witness to all that happens here on Earth and our preference for the truth IS the one that is filled with God, magnificent creatures, and the magic of a floating meerkat-filled island. Pi followed many religions as he could see value in all of them and this may be why he can easily tell two stories of what happened to him. What is the truth? Which religion is right? Is it possible they all are?

I highly recommend this film as it is not only beautiful and deep but I promise it will leave you thinking and  stir your soul. It has the three main ingredients for the perfect recipe in film: entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring. It is a triumphant epic journey that leaves us with hope and with a new-found curiosity for the mystery of life and God. It reminds us to respect, love and stay connected to animals and to trust that God is always with us, rain or shine.

Entertain – Enlighten – Inspire,
Kate Neligan – Founder & CEO of Synergy TV/Mindful Media Entertainment

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