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Life of Pi This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Paoli, PA
The Life of Pi: Stuck in an Irrational Situation



Pi, named after the famous swimming pool in France, finds himself moving from his homeland in India to America. Along the way things go terribly wrong and Pi is forced to conquer dangerous predicaments where one wrong move can lead to death. With mysterious islands and acidic ponds, Pi has to learn whether to risk dying on his way back or to stay alive on the island, dead to society.


The year is 1977 when Santosh, the father of Pi and an amazing swimmer and zookeeper, has to leave to find more job opportunities, he decides that he and his family must leave India and pursue their life in America. Obviously Pi rejects the idea, but is forced to come, so the family and Pi go onto a Japanese cargo ship and ride across the vast, endless Pacific Ocean, when a massive storm hits. The boat is now sinking, but Pi is the only one who’s left from his family along with a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. With limited supplies and hopelessness in his heart, he tries to make the best out of this situation, so he trains the tiger, starts to acclimate to the ocean life, and finds himself on a mysterious island riddled with meerkats and man-eating algae?! The island itself is almost unearthly and alive, plus it seems the island is trying to get Pi off, so Pi reluctantly gets on his way and again sails on the constant rocking of the ocean waves towards the mainland.


All the actors were wonderful and there was nothing that I can complain against them. If I were to give the actor’s performance a score it would be a clear ten out of ten! Suraj Sharma’s (aka teenage Pi) argument scene with his dad was truly convincing and was as if the actor was legitimately angry at the dad. It was that convincing! Irfan Khan, also known as older Pi (famous for his acting in “Slumdog Millionaire”) has magnificent skills in looking helpless and desperate and overall the attitude that a man would be if he was stranded out at sea, Bravo. The people working on the animation for Richard Parker did an extremely amazing job. At first the tiger looked almost as if it was real. I asked if the tiger was trained to be on the boat, but it surprised me that in all the scenes the tiger was in, the whole animal was computer generated. Very convincing! Overall it was wonderful acting!


There were many aspects of “The Life of Pi” that were humorous, inspiring, and motivating. One particular part that I liked was when Pi is arguing with his father by going to America. Pi’s father said that they were like Christopher Columbus by sailing across the ocean and “discovering” America, but Pi countered by saying that Columbus was trying to find a way to India. For some reason that scene stood out to me and it was one of my most memorable parts in “The Life of Pi.” Many other parts that I liked was when Pi felt free on the ship during the storm, but later found himself cramped in a life boat, definitely not free and ironic. Another irony that I thought was well planned was when Pi’s father, the excellent and popular swimming genius, died by drowning in the Pacific Ocean. Out of all the excellence, the film had confusing themes and motifs. In fact, many of the tiny details symbolize major things. Many that I was not aware of until my dad explained many symbolic figures such as the hyena, zebra, and chimpanzee in the beginning. The story is often vague and ambiguous, but even so the movie is wonderful because you have two whole hours to contemplate the many symbols and themes found inside the movie.


Like I said the themes were hard to pick out, but nevertheless they were still there. One of the themes was the human power of the will to live. All humans have this ability that gives humans an advantage over other animals. The will to live is found all throughout the movie. When Pi is stuck on a boat with a tiger, he makes another “smaller” boat to make sure the tiger doesn’t eat him. Plus, Pi who never ate meat, found himself eating raw fish for the important nutrients that he needs to survive. Finally, on the island Pi needed to get away from the island’s unearthliness and sailing away back to land where he can walk and socialize.


Finally, this movie is a great movie for young teens or older to experience what it would be like cast away and where hopelessness is the main problem. The movie is rated PG, so the whole family can watch. Plus it’s in 3D, so if your TV can display 3D movies then it is definitely worth it. This movie is probably the best movie I have watched in a while. Great actors. Wonderful plot. And intriguing sequence of events.

*****/***** (5/5 stars!)



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