I’m still nursing a hangover from last night’s Life of Pi. What an incredible movie it was, fantastic in every department and living up to the hullabaloo and recommendations. Life of Pi is a special movie to me, because what I took home was much than the pleasure of watching a good cinema. A memory engrossed with incredible visuals, a heart filled with empathy and a mind full of life’s important lessons – that’s what made all the difference for me!
Books are considered better than their movie counterparts, and yes they are most of the time. But we do have The Godfather, The Shining, Jaws, Silence of the Lambs and now, Life of Pi as exemplars that sometimes movies triumphs over books. I had a good time reading the book but I had a helluva great time watching the movie! Whether it was the camera shooting dazzling images of the water or the mighty beast aboard the vessel or poor Pi caught between his own fiascos of religions, I loved the entire length and breadth of the movie. “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink”. Ah! water and it never looked so mesmerizing ever before. For a brief instance, I felt as if I’ve stepped my foot onto a magical realm of serenity and divinity. Life of Pi is a rare visual treat and is one of the most visually striking movies I have ever seen. And as the magic continued, I thought I saw Pi in me or rather in all of us, sailing in the boat called Life and tumbling along towards our final destination!
I had my own spiritual escapade that day as the movie made me ponder upon life’s many facets, right from our existence and vulnerabilities to our powers, prayers and destiny. I realized how fallible and unpredictable life is and of all things how Mother Nature, in her moody self, can control our destiny, destroy our lives or more so, try to teach us a lesson. After all, we are but puppets in the hands of Nature and so unprepared we are to its whims, terrors and other unpleasant surprises! Just a single catastrophe, a storm or a flood, and boom, there go away everything. However there’s always a glimmer of hope when times are bad. And when it’s as bad as Pi’s, we somehow derive oodles of strength from within us that help push us forward. Is that strength God? I also realized that man is ultimately all alone in his fights, in his insecurities, and in those bouts of agony that sometimes pull him down. Are we really lone warriors fighting our own battles?
The other thing that really touched me was the relationship between the boy and the beast. I also couldn’t help but notice that an animal behaves and remains just the same – dominant and fierce in the presence of a man or in any given circumstance. And the one, who has to adjust, work around and try to tame him, is the man. It takes time but after a while, the beast learns to submit to the man’s vengeance and authority, just like Richard Parker. Was Pi, all this time, trying to tame his own inner beast? One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the boy holds the ailing tiger in his lap. In that, Richard Parker really looks like the new-born completely surrendering to an unfamiliar somebody. Is this what we call trust? Only if we held out our arms and hugged each other as tightly, and trusted as blindly, then there wouldn’t be any space left for doubts and disputes!
Life of Pi is a rather impossible story made possible by the supremely talented Ang Lee. I appreciate his willingness to paint a different picture and attempt in making a movie out of a script or should I say the book, that’s so different. But he tried and he succeeded, leaving for us to devour a movie filled with absolute brilliance. So much that as you leave the theater, you will unthinkingly think about the images and the characters, and most certainly ponder upon the hidden messages that Ang Lee wanted us to reminiscence later.
I think I’ll again see Life of Pi. Who knows this time I might encounter a few more details, to brood over and to write about.
It’s a beautiful movie, i also enjoyed it so much.
@ TheGoodWife – Yes, it is…did you watch it on 3D?
Hey, I so love to see this movie, however this whole concept of 3D scares the hell out of me..I might however put on a brave front and watch the magic, maybe, just for once.
@ Roh – Pls. do so….Life of Pi is worth fighting your fears and dragging yourself to the theatre for a 3D version.