I knew very little about this movie so didn't know what to expect except that the idea of being marooned on a lifeboat with a wild tiger was going to be a good story. One reviewer of this movie says:
Don't expect to leave this story behind as you leave the theatre. Life of Pi has something to say.
I agree. But WHAT is it trying to say? Where comments on Google mention the visual cinematics, special effects, rah rah rah (which are fabulous, BTW)... I think it's sort of a modern day parable in that a story which may not be completely factual, illustrates a spiritual concept like the nature of belief.
Pi v Pissing
The big theme of the movie is a spiritual one. The first clue about this is the name "Pi" itself. It is shortened from the unfortunate name of "Pissing". The name 'Pi' represents a mathematical mystery which is never resolved or finished - similar to mysterious spiro-themes. This is a much preferred name to 'Pissing' wouldn't you agree? So each person who meets Pi, must choose whether to think of him and refer to him as "Pi - the mystery", or "Pissing".
Survival @ Sea
The factual evidence of survival at sea in a lifeboat during storms, hunger, thirst and fear with a wild tiger, orangutan, hyena and zebra is also called into question at the end of the movie by the Japanese insurance representatives that wanted to hear a story that was 'believable'. So Pi told them another story which involved people rather than wild animals. So the insurance boys have 2 stories. In parrallel. One is involving more 'believable' behaviours of humans in survival mode, the other is a somewhat fanciful but beautiful animal story.
Then Pi asked the insurance reps a question,
"Which story do you prefer?"
And that, ultimately, is the point that the movie is trying to make - that belief in God is connected strongly with the story we prefer.
have your say
Have you seen this movie? Or read the book? What do you think the movie was about? Come on tell us.