Life of Pi

13 Apr

This isn’t so much of a geeky movie, but it’s the only movie I have watched since starting this blog.  I do like movies, but my time has been short lately.  But I got to sit down and watch Life of Pi today with my parents though I honestly never planned to watch this movie.  When starting this movie, I didn’t know anything about the plot other than it was about a boy and a tiger on a boat.

The movie starts off with Pi in his kitchen fixing lunch and talking to a writer.  The way it started was odd.  To me it was not clear what was going on and I did not understand who this person was or why the writer was there.  In a short while, it explains that why the writer (he was never given a name I don’t think) was in India, he met someone that told him he needed to get in contact with Pi and that was why he was there.  From there on, it is mostly Pi telling his story, though there are some scenes of Pi interacting with the writer.

Pi’s story starts off by explaining his name (Piscine Molitor) and that he is named after a public swimming pool in France.  He was teased about his name as a child and eventually takes on the name Pi by writing so many digits of Pi on the board.  From there we learn how he discovers Christianity and that he follows three religions; Christianity, Hindi, and Muslin.  While the idea of God(s) did come into play a small bit, it was not a major point for the plot.  The main start of the story is when they describe how Pi’s parents meet and the zoo they continue to run.  The family gets a new tiger at the zoo and Pi decides he wants to see it so he goes back with his brother without his father.  He gets a piece of meat and opens the door for the tiger (whose name is Richard Parker due to a clerical error) to come in from the outside.  He holds out the meat and just as the tiger gets close, the father runs in and jerks in away.  After that he makes Pi watch the tiger kill and eat a live goat to prove that animals do not “have a soul” and do not think like humans.

Life goes on and Pi meets a girl and just as they start to get close his father decides to sell all of the animals and move the family to Canada.  It seems like an odd place to move to from India, but that was the decision.  So they pack up all the animals on a boat and hit the sea.  One night Pi wakes up and runs out to watch a thunderstorm when things take a turn for the worse.  The boat starts to sink, it wasn’t clear to me why the boat has issues, but it does.  He runs back and tries to get to his family but the boat has started to fill with water.  He goes back up and some of the crew puts him on a lifeboat.  A mishap happens and he ends up alone on the lifeboat with a zebra.  When the water settles and the sun comes up, we also find that there is a hyena on the lifeboat, so Pi must try to keep the hyena from eating the zebra.  He also picks up an orangutan.  As they float along, the hyena ends up killing both the zebra and the orangutan  though the orangutan does get a good punch in, then out of nowhere, the tiger leaps on board and kills the hyena.  This is where the story really starts.

I could go into detail, but most of the rest of the movie was spent with him living between the lifeboat and a little raft he built.  He has some supplies which he ends up losing and has to resort to eating fish, even though he is vegetarian.  He keeps himself going by the thought that he has to take care of Richard Parker (mostly so he does not eat him).  There is a lot of back and forth and he makes a few attempts to train the tiger, but it has limited success.  If you must know, here is a helpful chart I found:

There are two scenes that really stood out to me.  The first is where Pi is on the boat and the tiger is trying to get him when a fish flops onto the boat.  He throws the fish to Richard Parker but it is a flying fish and glides away.  Out of nowhere  they are suddenly in the middle of a school of flying fish and the boat ends up being filled with fish that flop in and can’t get out.  A large fish also gets stuck in the boat that Pi fights the tiger for and the tiger has to settle for the small fish.  The part that amused me here though is Pi is getting hit and whaped and slapped with tons of these fish so by the end he’s covered in fish slime and scales.

The second scene is where they are both exhausted and nearly dead and they come across this strange floating island.  On the island he fines fresh water and thousands of meerkats.  The meerkats are extremely tame and are not bothered by Pi.  He finds fresh water and jumps in.  He sees Richard Parker come up and walking through the meerkats, but they are not phased by the tiger, even after he starts scooping them up and munching on them.  As the day ends, the meerkats run for the trees, so Pi goes and makes a bed in the trees and the tiger goes back to the boat.  At night he wakes up to see the water in the pools turning into acid and dissolving the fish and he finds a luminescent flower that has a human tooth inside of it.  He decides that the island will eventually kill him and eat him and he gets supplies and fills the boat with as many meerkats as he can take for the tiger and sets off again.

Shortly after they set sail again, all refreshed, they wash up on a beach.  Pi gets off the boat and lays in the sand and the tiger gets off, stretches, and walks toward the jungle.  Pi hopes that Richard Parker will turn to look at him before he disappears, but he does not.  Eventually some people (as Pi phrases it, members of his own species) find Pi and carry him back to their village.  Pi is quite upset because he feels like Richard Parker has abandoned him after all they have been through together.  While Pi is in the hospital recovering, some reports come to get his story, but they don’t believe him.  So he makes up a story in which the zebra, hyena, tiger and himself are all other characters.  They believe this story and leave him alone.  This is where Pi’s story ends and we return to him talking to the writer.  The writer meets his family and mentions that maybe his story did have a happy ending after all.

Overall, it was a pretty good movie.  It had some confusing parts, but mostly because I had no concept of what the movie was about when I started watching it.  It did all end up making sense in the end and while it wasn’t my usual type of movie (or even very geeky) it was a good story.  I did have one though, after they had been on this little lifeboat for days and weeks…. where is all the tiger poop?  I mean… I’m sure the boy can do his business in the water, but the tiger is pacing about the boat.  Yeah with the amount it gets sloshed around, I’m sure it gets washed off from time to time, but… there would still be poop.  Yeah I know… people don’t want to see a sad poop matted tiger, but that’s what it would be!  It’s silly but it kinda bothered me.  Other than that I give it 6.5 nerd glasses out of 10.  It was a decent watch.


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