MOVIE REVIEW: 'Life of Pi' adds to movie experience

It seems as though movies in the past few years have strayed away from philosophical discussions and have focused more on things that will gather crowds: explosions, male strippers and vampires.

"Life of Pi," on the other hand, offers viewers something more than just a break from the day-to-day. It engages the brain and makes people reflect on their own life.

The movie, as the title suggests, follows the life of Pi, the son of an Indian zookeeper.  After deciding to trade their home in Pondicherry, India for a life in Canada, the family packs up the zoo animals and travels by freighter to North America.

One night on the ship, Pi hears a thunderstorm and decides to go to the deck to see. Then everything goes terribly wrong.

The ship begins to sink, so some crewmembers throw Pi into a lifeboat. A zebra jumps from an upper deck and falls into the boat with him. The waves take the vessel away from the freighter before any others could join.

As the waves continue to crash around him, Pi notices a figure swimming toward him. He offers a paddle so the creature can climb aboard. However, he notices too late that it is Richard Parker, the zoo’s Bengal tiger.

Pi is then forced to survive in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with Richard Parker, the zebra, a hyena and an orangutan.

The interesting part of the movie is that it is told by the adult Pi to the author of the book the film is based on, Yann Martel.

Because of this, the audience already knows Pi survived the journey. They just don’t know how.

The adult Pi also tells Martel about the three religions he practices, Catholicism, Hinduism and Islam, and how it is possible for one person to practice three seemingly contrasting religions.

The ideas proposed in "Life of Pi" stick with people for days after the theater doors have closed.

In addition, the Avatar-quality visuals are sure to stun viewers of all ages. Even the opening credits leave audience members entranced.

When deciding which movie to watch with family over the holidays, pick one that is philosophically engaging as well as entertaining, rather than having to settle with only half of that.

Rating: Five out of five stars


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