Life of Pi – Novel by Yann Martel
My first experience with praised author Yann Martel was not through reading Life of Pi but his third novel Beatrice and Virgil, a lesser known but still wildly interesting story about a novelist named Henry and a strange taxidermist fan of his. While I wont go much into this story, I need to touch upon the captivating writing style Martel has mastered; the way he writes forces you to feel that the narrator is speaking directly to you in a way that I have not quite experienced in other reads. This same connection is established throughout Life of Pi and is, in my opinion, the reason why Martel’s stories are ones you carry with you even after reading is done.
Life of Pi is a spiritual book and sets out to tell a miraculous story. Pi Patel is an interesting person; as a young boy he is captivated by religion and engrosses himself deeply in not just the Hindu religion, but Christianity and Islam as well. Pi’s family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India, but shortly through the book his parents decide to leave Pondicherry to open a zoo in Canada. They set out on a ship with some of the animals and head west – however, the family is shortly thrown off course when a storm rolls through the ocean, destroying the ship, and leaving Pi stranded on a life boat with a zebra, hyena, orangutang, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Pi is such an interesting, and uplifting, character. He is incredibly human and therefore we can relate to everything he experiences. When he is first stranded he seems hopeful, then shortly becomes incredibly depressed. It is only when himself and Richard Parker establish a relationship that Pi realizes he is not alone and, without Richard Parker, he would have died.
The twist at the end of the novel was definitely unexpected, but it forces you to love Pi for his incredible imagination and need to create a much better story than what had really happened. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, however I did find it a struggle to get through and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. Life of Pi is long and there is hardly any dialogue, so some readers may find that to be missing.
“Life of Pi” – Directed by Ang Lee
The first thing I must say about this film before I go into the content is the wildly stunning use of CGI. The visual effects were stunning and unbelievably realistic. When “Life Of Pi” was nominated in the special effects category at the Oscars I was thrilled and I would hope this movie will take a win. Richard Parker, as well as all of the other animals and settings, looked lifelike and I didn’t for a second believe it was not a real tiger. Visually, this film was breathtaking.
In terms of mooks, this movie really did not go wrong. Yann Martel’s novel left room for a great adaptation, however it could have been miscommunicated since so much of the novel’s content comes from Pi’s thoughts. I felt that Suraj Sharma, the actor who played Pi, did an incredible job of acting considering the lack of dialogue and interaction with a completely animated acting partner.
There isn’t much that I disliked about this film at all. I thought it was fantastic and uplifting, just like the book. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a film about a adventure and I hope that we will see “Life of Pi” as a winner this awards season.
Mook Rating – ★★★★★