Viewer’s Guide to Life of Pi, FAQ

Q: I don’t even know where to begin.
A: Use your words. One at a time.

Q: That — movie — was — infuriating!
A: I’m sensing you feel strongly about this.

Q: Yes I feel strongly about this! How dare it decode its own symbols at the end, nailing them down to one idiotic interpretation? Did the filmmakers not trust the images to convey any meaning, or did they not trust us to open our eyes?
A: Good, that’s right, let it all out.

Q: And why did the movie claim it would make us “believe in God,” then define God as a psychological defense mechanism? They should have deleted every sentence with the word “God,” and every mention of religion.
A: Feel better yet?

Q: No! They also should have cut that whole stupid “framing” story. It broke the spell the animals created; it made no sense (if Pi was really dissociating, would he have changed his tune so fast just because he had confused some guys from a shipping company?); and it gave away up front that Pi survives. Suspense, schmuspense. Start on the boat and end on the beach, period. Ok. Now I feel better.
A: Then you might be interested to hear there’s a new —

Q: Except I wanted to wring the neck of that simpering writer character, slinking in to steal somebody else’s story like that. I wanted to feed him to the tiger. Grrr.
A: For heaven’s sake, get a grip! Have you seen the —

Q: But I could have loved this movie! It was so close!
A: Enough! It happens! Deal with it! It’s time to move on and watch this, if you can stop yammering for a minute and a half:

6 thoughts on “Viewer’s Guide to Life of Pi, FAQ

  1. I’m guessing you didn’t read the book first or you would have had a heads up. I’ve only read the book, haven’t seen the movie yet.

    I thought it was ironic that the story the boy told himself turned men into animals so he could cope with them, while religion itself is about separating man from animals.

  2. Interesting, two perspectives on the blurry distinction between us and our creature kin. Too bad neither point of view takes it to the next level, where there might be real respect and love for the wild world. Well, the movie does accomplish that visually at times, but the story structure wrecks the effect.

  3. On a slightly different topic:
    Please go read Beatrice and Virgil and tell if you think it’s a book that everyone should read, even if no one will. I’ll send you a copy if you want. It’s simply great and terrible.

    But on the Life of Pi:
    Please don’t be infuriated by something so beautiful. You don’t need to let the movie dictate an interpretation; that was just the “author’s” interpretation, that one man. The story you saw before the talking man was as true as you want it to be. You’re free to interpret as you wish, and I suspect the message may be exactly what you say, and you understand the truth: that where you see beauty is truth, and what you see as god is god. Someone else’s labels doesn’t need to ruin that for you, and I think that might have been what you were saying. . .

  4. Hi David! Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll check it out. Great to hear from you. Hope things are going well!

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