The first few minutes into the film I asked myself, who names their child Pi? As it turns out, Pi is a shortened version of Piscine Molitor, the name of a swimming pool in France. You can only imagine the nicknames his classmates call him, like “Pissing Patel.”
As a youth, Pi explores a sense of self through religions. His interest is so passionate that it leads him to take on an odd lifestyle. Pi creates a hybrid worship of god, and became a Muslim-Hindu-Christian. Although his mother is a Hindu, and father a believer of science and logic, all this diversity only makes their family bond stronger.
His father, a businessman, and an owner of many animals is the caretaker of a zoo. In an effort to escape political changes in India, Pi’s father decides to migrate to Canada by Japanese cargo ship. This is where Pi’s journey of self truly takes flight, or should I say, sets sail.
While sitting in the theatre watching Pi’s journey unfold, the viewer is also sent on a visual journey. We meet memorable characters and face heart-wrenching situations alongside Pi. Director Ang Lee’s ability to captivate the viewer did not falter throughout the film.
The musical score creates an atmosphere of tranquility while seated in the theatre. Imagery so pure and spellbounding you often forget where you are. As a graphic designer, I have a habit of looking for graphic inconsistencies. If there were any, I failed to notice a single one. I wish I could describe the marvels of this film in more detail, but my words would fall short. This movie is an experince worth every moment in the two hours and seven minutes of runtime.
Although the ending of Life of Pi might be controversial, this brings forth the opportunity for the viewer to explore the two possible endings. The choice remains in their hands, one ending favoring logic and reason, and the other being spiritual and emotional.
Final words, do not wait for the dvd or netflix release. This movie deserves and needs to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. As Pi states in the movie, be prepared to hear a story that just might “make you believe in god,” and if not, the story alone is sure to stay with you long after you leave the cinema.