I made it back to the nearby movie theater, anxious to view this particular film. Life of Pi, the latest release from celebrated director Ang Lee, has been in television reviews, Internet postings, et cetera, for months. The film has been getting some Academy Award buzz as well, so it was natural that I was eager to watch the movie!
The story starts at a biological reserve, with various animal species being shown. A zoo worker named Pi is startled by a nearby, caged reptile. Yet, it is from the mouth of Pi that this story is delivered!
Pi recalls memories of his youth, being teased about his name by other children. Rude kids would tell him that his full name sounded like someone pissing! This lead him to simply refer to himself as Pi, using information such as the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and the mathematical figure 3.14 as sources of origin for his new moniker.
Pi was an intelligent young man. He was strong with mathematics, and he became popular at school because of his knowledge. His parents were well-to-do, as his father opened a zoo, and his mother was a botanist. During this time, Pi proclaimed himself to be Catholic Hindu, when he first learned of the god Krishna.
Pi idolized the Hindu gods, following his mother’s faith. Yet, as he grew, Pi became aware of Christianity, learning about the sufferings of Jesus. He continued with this learning, as his religious fervor lead him to Hinduism, then ultimately to the worship of Allah. However, Pi’s father was somewhat difficult, but he lead Pi to rational thinking. This brought forth a desire to be baptized, as Pi now was Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim all at once!
Young Pi worked at a local zoological center, where he became acquainted with a captured tiger that was called Richard Parker. Pi chose to feed Richard meat, seeing that the tiger swallowed it in mere seconds! Pi’s father showed him that Richard truly was a killer, as he let his son watch the tiger attack, then devour a young lamb, whole!
Pi read poetry. He studied music, and he played an instrument for a dance class. During the rehearsals, Pi met Anna Lee, a young dancer. She taught Pi about dance and music through rhythmic interpretation. As their bond strengthened, Pi took Anna Lee to be introduced to Richard Parker, the tiger!
Pi learned more about the nature of animals through teachings by his father. Pi soon learned that his dad was selling the zoo, and they were moving to Canada. Both of them boarded a ship, and Pi spoke with no one but Anna Lee before his family moved away.
Aboard the ship, Pi learned of nature and the weather. The vessel with Pi and his family headed for Japan. All of the animals from his father’s zoo were aboard the boat, also! During a stormy night, Pi went onto the deck, where he saw that the ship was about to capsize!
The vessel did sink, and Pi found himself underwater. His family had drowned. Some of the animals still were alive, barely swimming, as Pi got hold of a water-soaked lifeboat. He had a zebra with him, and they floated into more stormy waters. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, the enormous tiger, Richard Parker, lept from the water, and onto the lifeboat! Out of complete fear, Pi jumped out of the boat, immediately into the raging water!
Night had arrived and the terror continued. Sharks encircled Pi while he was in the ocean, hanging onto a piece of wood. Pi saw that Richard Parker had lept into the water also, so he swam back to the boat. Aboard was a zebra, and Pi set with it as he wept for his family.
As day broke, Pi was awakened by the sounds of the hyena and the zebra from the zoo. An orangutan was on the boat also, so Pi named the boat Pi’s Ark! Adrift within The Indian Ocean, the hyena attacked the zebra, eating it. The orangutan, which Pi had named Orange Juice, got seasick, and it was killed by the hyena, also. Suddenly, Richard Parker lept from the sea, attacking, then killing the hyena!
Immediate terror lead Pi to jump overboard! While in the water, sharks began to appear. Pi made it back to the boat, where Richard Parker was calm for the moment. He later emerged to snack upon the zebra that he killed, earlier. Richard Parker lunged at Pi, and they had a continued dance of death during this day at sea!
As night fell, Pi saw that the tiger had eaten every other living thing! He was floating on a table that was near to the boat, as Pi saw Richard Parker eying him, hungrily! Yet, Pi managed to write a rescue note, which he put within a can, then he set off to float.
As the next day came, Pi read on how to survive at sea from books that were afloat from the wrecked ship. He would sneak back to the boat occassionally, getting life supplies, while avoiding Richard Parker. He read his book, which gave details on how to survive with a loose and wild carnivore.
Pi was encouraged to steer his raft back to the canoe with Richard! There, Pi saw that the tiger had become seasick. Yet, Richard Parker was in no mood to share his turf, as he growled to proclaim territory, then he lifted a back leg, pissing on Pi!
Later, Pi managed to maneuver back and forth between his raft and the boat with Richard to give the tiger water. He learned to fish in order to feed himself and Richard. At one point, the tiger saw a fish swimming in the water, so he lept for it. Pi was in the water, fishing also, and he jumped back onto the raft when he saw Richard Parker approaching him!
Pi and the tiger wound up in a standoff. Richard Parker still was in the water, and he remained there. Pi moved to rescue the cat, as it stayed aboard the raft with some canned food. He learned to fish more, also.
One night was amazing, as their raft suddenly was surrounded by glowing jellyfish! Then, a blue whale lept from the ocean waters, creating an enormous splash! This caused Pi to lose all of his supplies and his caught food!
Pi and Richard Parker found themselves surrounded by a brigade of jellyfish and tuna. The man and the big cat had a standoff over a large yellowfin tuna. Yet, Pi emerged victorious, eating the fish raw!
Pi attempted to try teaching Richard Parker that he did not have to keep leaping in and out of the ocean waters for food and necessities. He attempted to tame the tiger, yet it was very dangerous! Time passed, as Pi stayed on his makeshift raft, and Richard Parker kept the canoe.
Tending to the tiger gave Pi the will to survive. It was days later when Pi saw a tanker sailing in the distance. He had flares to use, and he did shoot some into the sky. They were not seen, and Pi waited until night to shoot more of them. Yet, that did not serve to his benefit, either.
The next day, a whale and a dolphin appeared in the water. Night fell, and Pi spoke to Richard Parker. The tiger was staring into the ocean, entranced by the sight of sea creatures swimming beneath the water. At this time, Pi reflected upon his odyssey, recalling the sunken ship that he and Richard Parker escaped.
The next day, a storm was approaching their raft. Pi constructed a sail, but it was blown overboard. He went after it, then got back aboard as the storm intensified. Pi encouraged Richard Parker to watch the clouds, which he interpreted as the appearance of God! Pi asked Him what more He wanted, as Pi had lost nearly everything.
The storm raged more, pushing Richard Parker off of the raft, then back onto it. The storm calmed, more time passed, as Pi tried to bring sustenance to an increasingly ailing Richard Parker. Pi knew that the tiger was dying, so he held the cat’s head in his lap as he spoke to the spirits of his parents. Then, Pi thanked God for giving him life, declaring himself ready for what was to come.
Their raft eventually washed up toward an island. Pi ate some of the grass, and some of the vegetables growing. He walked further inland, where he saw lemurs running through an area filled with trees. Pi lept into a nearby lake, as the lemurs stood back from the still-powerful presence of Richard Parker. They nudged Pi, but they ran from Richard!
As night fell, Pi, Richard Parker, and several lemurs slept in a tree. Pi awoke in the middle of the night, seeing a lake filled with dead fish. Richard had gone back to the canoe. Pi found himself trying to avoid areas of the island that seemed carnivorous itself, feeding upon all life on it as night fell!
Time passed, as Pi tried to catch supplies and meerkats to feed himself and Richard Parker. Pi decided to try leaving with the tiger on a makeshift canoe. They actually made it to the coast of Mexico, where they washed ashore. Richard Parker ran into the jungle, never to be seen again!
Pi eventually was rescued, yet he was sad because Richard Parker was gone. He was able to tell his story to a reporter. Pi told that he was upset because he was not able to thanking Richard Parker for having taught him how to survive, and for not having said goodbye.
A Japanese sea vessel transported Pi to a Mexican hospital. There, no one believed Pi’s story! Yet, he opted to tell another version where four people had survived this ship sinking. He even included the survival of the ship’s cook, who prepared rats for them to feed upon until rescue! Yet, Pi said that the cook had become very sick, needing a leg amputated, then dying before he could be seen by these reporters!
Growing into a young man, Pi was interviewed by an U.S. reporter about living in India during his youth, and his sea odyssey. The reporter translated Pi’s story, telling of two ships, the tiger, and the amazing adventure. This one version eventually turned into more versions, yet Pi was glad to be reunited with his family. Pi officially let one reporter have his story!
I am excited that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be premiering soon! This updated version of the classic tale is sure to be exciting, as it takes the story into an actual prequel of The Lord of the Rings adventures! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14!
Next week features the premiere of Killing Them Softly, featuring Casey Affleck, Javier Bardem, James Gandolfini, and Brad Pitt. December has Django Unchained, The Guilt Trip, The Impossible, Jack Reacher, Les Miserables, Parental Guidance, Playing For Keeps, and This Is 40. There is much, much more before 2012 bangs to a close!