"Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing."
If you are seeking God and you feel like He’s out of reach, maybe you’re looking at the wrong places and maybe you have to watch Life of Pi.
What happens when an award-winning novel is brought to the big screen by an award-winning director? The answer- Life of Pi. No wonder it got 11 nominations in the Oscars.The film is adapted from the Booker Prize-winning novel of Yann Martel that carries the same title and is directed by no less than the great Ang Lee himself.
Ang Lee, who has directed films from Sense and Sensibility to Brokeback Mountain, has proven that a novel that seems unfilmable can be filmable. The movie is visually stunning with all the graphics and CGI. Cinematography wise I’ll give it a perfect 10. The story can be considered inspirational and the heartfelt performance of Suraj Sharma stirs a whole lot of different emotions.
Let me give you a short peek of what the film is about. A young Canadian writer goes to an Indian émigré in search of a good story that would make him believe that there’s a God. And so the story kicks off and Pi shares his adventure to the young writer.
As a kid, Pi had an urge to find God. So in his younger years he was a Hindu, Christian and a Muslim. His father, who believes in reason or science, encourages him to let go of religion and basically everything he believes in but he still believed anyway. He believed that there is a God maybe in the form of Vishnu or Christ or Allah.
In his teenage years, he and his family had to sell their zoo animals and migrate to Canada. Once aboard the Japanese ship, Pi knew that he had to let go of everything that he had in India including the girl he liked. Along the way they experienced a thunderstorm and needless to say experienced a shipwreck. All but Pi, Richard Parker (the tiger), an Orangutan, a Zebra and a Hyena was buried into the deep. The story revolves on these characters and their struggle to survive until only Pi and Richard Parker was left and the story goes deeper. Lost at sea, Pi finds ways on how he can manage to live without getting eaten by the ravenous tiger and if he can tame it at all.
The young Pi did a wonderful job of his own. How hard is it to act as if there’s really a tiger in front of you? Real hard I’d say but Saruj Sharma pulled it off. Another thing I like about the film is that my eyes never get tired. With all the colors and visual effects, the film really works wonders in 3D. While the setting is at the middle of nowhere in the ocean, you would get to feed your eyes with an amazing set of creatures that they encountered all throughout the film. The film is also wonderfully scored and as I said earlier the cinematography is beyond astounding.
Now to the what-I-don’t-like part. The story was poorly paced and I felt it dragged me throughout the film trying to get to the climax. I can’t help but be reminded of Tom Hanks in Castaway and Robin Crusoe since they somehow had the same experience. The film has that tendency to put aside its real purpose and that is to show God. You’ll realize it for a minute and forget it the next. The film also goes from awe-something to nothing like for instance they would just be flooded by another storm again and something like that.
In the end, I find Life of Pi most interesting not only for its wondrous spectacle but also for its life story that holds true for everyone. It shows how God proves himself and can change someone even at the most unexpected times. The story defies reality but is definitely something to embrace and it is up to us if we believe or not Pi’s story and his encounter in search of God.