Life of Pi (2012) Movie Review

Adventure Boy and I went to watch “Life of Pi” tonight. Initially, I thought it looked like a great movie for kids and we both love tigers. My Chinese sign (the year I was born) is actually a “tiger” and some of my male friends love to say, “Easy now tiger!” when I play around in voicing my opinions about things. Whenever we go to the zoo, we always want to see the tigers first as they are such beautiful yet ferocious creatures. Anyways, so other than seeing the movie trailer, I thought it was harmless to see this movie and to escape reality for a bit. I know I needed it.

What we saw was unlike any movie I’ve seen in a very long time. First of all, the movie trailer does not do any justice of how amazing this movie is. If you like allegories, symbolism, religious thoughts and fantasy, you will absolutely love this movie hands down. This movie had a little bit of everything such as romance, survival, desperation, sadness, happiness, humor, surprise, fear and most of all, hope. There was not a dry eye in the audience when we saw it, especially at a particular scene. I wasn’t even thinking of Hurricane Sandy until a certain scene came up where “Pi” is in the midst of a horrible storm and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs to the sky and says (this is not verbatim), “You’ve taken my family, everything I’ve ever loved, I’ve lost everything, what more do you want?!!” I couldn’t help but think of the victims of Hurricane Sandy and basically thinking that’s how they must feel. When you watch the movie, you see a “story” about hope. However, at the very end, you find out there are two versions of the story in the film and the animals in the movie represent humans. The whole story was a beautiful puzzle of symbolism that once you found out which one was which, you see the bigger picture and get the “I got it! I now understand what the author was trying to tell me or show me!”. I love those aha moments.

What I was thinking as we were walking to the car and I was still mulling over who and what represented what, I began to understand that the story in itself can go so many ways and that Pi could have represented God and the tiger represented “Pi” (or the author of the book). This movie leaves you thinking about all the times you ever lost hope and just when you think you’ve lost it all, someone or something comes along and helps you survive the “storm”.

I recommend this movie to anyone who has ever felt lonely, hopeless or searching for something to live for. What I learned from this movie is to always say “thank you” for whatever comes my way. I’m always thankful to begin with, but even more so now. Even when it is things I don’t understand, there is a greater reason behind it. It’s for me to learn how to make the most of it when I have nothing. Good movie, you guys should go out and see it. Even James Cameron thought the Director Ang Lee did an amazing job in the visual and directorial department in the way he presented this film. Some of the scenes are so beautiful, it took my breath away. This is a very family friendly movie. Kids will love the story and adults will love the symbolism of it. If you liked Avatar, you’ll definitely love the computer graphics in this movie.

Here is the official website: Life of Pi Official Website

Here is a video explaining the experiences and story of the movie. Check it out!

Video #1 Credit: The Life of Pi Movie
Video #2 Credit: FilmLincdotcom

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One more thing. Someone wrote something on their search engine and my blog popped up according to what they wrote. Here is what they wrote and I’ll respond. I thought it was a good question.

“meaning of tiger going into jungle at the end in life of pi movie”

Here is my humble opinion and answer of that question. “Pi” was also the tiger in the movie. When the tiger was “saved”, it was the boy who turned his back on “God” and never “thanked” him for saving him. The tiger represented Pi and the boy represented God who wanted Pi to turn around and thank him, hence the reason at the beginning of the movie where Pi (as the adult) prays before he eats and told the writer (sitting across the table from him) why he always thanks God for everything. It gets a little confusing, I know, but all Pi wanted to do was thank the tiger for being there for him and saving his life and also wanted the tiger to thank him in return, even if it meant the tiger turning around one last time and thank Pi with his eyes, but the tiger never did and there was never sense of closure as a result. Pi learned a hard lesson in appreciating and being thankful for the lessons his parents taught him while they were alive. Pi also felt some guilt due to never saying goodbye to his parents, especially his father who taught him how to communicate with animals. The tiger went back into his element just as the boy was re-entering society with other humans; there was parallel symbolism with both characters. I’m sure there are numerous opinions of this and some better than mine, but that is just what I think on that subject. I want to see the movie again, now that I understand it better and to also read the book.

36 thoughts on “Life of Pi (2012) Movie Review

    1. Great! There are several scenes reminiscent of Titanic and Avatar, but original in other ways, which was refreshing. I added another video below that will showcase in more detail other aspects of the movie I did not touch on because it would have taken me a lot longer to explain it all. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. You are most welcome! I highly recommend this movie. There is just “something” about it that is so original and refreshing. I had a good Thanksgiving, thank you! I hope you were able to stuff yourself silly and have a great time with loved ones. 🙂

  1. Michelle Gillies

    I really want to see this movie. Now that you have given me so much to think about I want to even more. If I get to see it I will let you know.

  2. I loved this movie but can not agree with you whole heartedly. This is not a kid friendly movie. The 8 kids in our party that saw it on Thanksgiving night all hated it. And out of 9 adults, only 3 enjoyed it. And of the two explanations of how Pi survived, I believe the first story is the true one. But because the people interviewing Pi did not believe in God, he (Pi) came up with the second story to appease them. As you’ve said, the special effects are amazing and I want to see it again in 3D. Unlike any film I’ve seen in a long time!

    1. Thank you Joseph! You’re ahead of me in that regards. Did you just begin reading it or are you almost finished? I hear the book was amazing, so I think I’ll hopefully find some time to read it as well. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thank you so much! You truly made my day Tori! I hope you like it. The computer graphics are really good and you can’t tell when they use a real tiger and when it’s just a computer. Rumor has it that they used the female tigers (sisters) for close up growls and the male tiger for the “poses”. Lol. So, look for that when you watch it! Just some behind the scenes information!

  3. just watched Life of Pi a couple of days ago, and loved. Yes, the graphics are great, and the story is so beautiful. I read the book many years ago and wouldn’t think it was possible to make such a movie out of it. Great review.

  4. I also enjoyed this film way more than expected, visually it was stunning and it was also great story telling. Thanks for stopping by 3guys1movie.com and I look forward to reading more.

    1. Wow! I appreciate anyone from 3guys1movie stopping by my humble little blog. Did you know they used three tigers for the movie? Two sisters for the close up “growls” and the male tiger for the “laying around the boat” part. Lol! For some reason, that just makes me laugh and makes the seriousness of the movie go away. I’m already a big fan of 3guys1movie. Keep up the great reviews and if you ever need any type of votes for anything, let me know!

  5. GaryLee828

    Definitely one of my top favorites of 2012; i was hoping it won the Oscar for best picture, but at least it rightfully won for best achievement in directing.

    1. I loved this movie too! I thought it deserve the big one too. Either people loved it or they hated it. I think it was more intellectual and spiritual than anything else, so it gave people like you and I something to think about watching it and admiring the beauty at the same time. 🙂

  6. Spiritual Will
    Had Its Will

    Richard Parker,
    He’s the lineman.
    Hey I need you.
    You’re somethin’
    Rock the boat,
    A little patrol of safety
    From the most dangerous thing of all,
    What keep me on my toes
    Till the morning come.
    Put ‘im beside your bed.
    You grow strength that way.

    Never a release from the tiger.
    I’m not lyin’.
    Among other things
    You show it rules to obey
    It will learn them.
    Boy mustn’t get too carried away.
    The moment of mastery has arrived.
    A friendship now it knows you.
    Take him to salt.
    He’s your challenger no more.
    It’s your moment past him.
    Something bigger,
    Bigger than life even,
    Is your next movie.
    Can’t a cheetah do it,
    Make on earth reveal God.

    Richard Parker,
    Thank you Richard Parker.
    I must’ve been asleep.
    This symbolism gown,
    This gonna cost yah.
    You make them wear veils
    What you’d reach for wrong.
    I skipped a generation,
    Let it come in for school.
    After a good many trials and tribulations
    I reached my way North.

    Now what did Life of Pi
    Have to teach us?
    You know,
    I wanna tell you somethin’.
    What?
    You thought you just winked right out of there.
    For oneness to occur
    Even
    How many miles of road
    With their temple
    That’s-Not-All-the-People-Can-Discover:
    The comic consciousness.

      1. Pardon me if it’s a glitch, but I keep reading that my reply to your question is awaiting moderation. If that’s the case, and you’re mulling over whether to delete it or not, you’ve got to figure it’s the cutting edge that gets censored most especially in a politically correct and entrenched society, that cutting edge what also would help heal.

    1. I heard the book is amazing! I’ve heard positive things about the books, so I might just give it a whirl. Yes, there are many interpretations about it and that’s what makes it a great movie. Some people will never understand it (and that’s fine), but others who have a certain mindset will understand and appreciate it such as you and I. Thanks for commenting!!

  7. Michelle

    HI,
    First I want to thank you for your post. The question I have is this: After the movie is basically over, it shows a “close-up” of the tiger entering into the lush, green jungle then it slowly morphs into a more weathered looking jungle. What is the signifigance of that scene?

    1. Hi and thanks for your question. I’m not an expert on the movie, but I believe the tiger represented a higher deity (or God) to Pi. I think the jungle turning weathered was just the memory of the whole experience fading away in his memory. I honestly didn’t notice the weathered jungle when I first saw it. 🙂

    2. If you noticed in the film there was the question of the personhood of animals being bounced around: do they feel as we do, capable of complex emotions, love and the like? It’s interesting that the tiger has a whole human name: Richard Parker. Anyway, that the tiger didn’t even look back and say goodbye really affected Pi, but it did say goodbye, in that scene, to the healthy boy he fell in love with, not to the decimated one in the boat. On that scene actually rides the whole question, and it answers it: they are people too. The film steps past the narrator and shows us what even he doesn’t know, and that’s significant when a movie, or a book, does that. In my opinion that scene says a lot more, maybe even that the tiger story was the real one.

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