Monday, January 14, 2013

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is another film nominated for Best Picture at this year's Oscars. It tells the story of a young Indian boy whose ship sinks on his way to Canada. It's a survival story unlike any I've seen before. Most survival movies emphasize how a desperate situation can change a person. In Life of Pi, the protagonist is determined to survive without sacrificing his personal values.

Ultimately, this movie is about faith. What better analogy is there for faith than being lost at sea? You're helpless, your fate is uncertain, and you place your trust in what you can't see. The truly beautiful thing about Ang Lee's film is that it's not about a specific religion. As a young boy, Pi tries out several religions and never chooses just one. He is Hindu, Christian, and Muslim all at once. Pi does not see these beliefs as conflicting. "Thank you, Vishnu, for leading me to Christ," he prays.

The casting in this film was particularly spectacular. All three actors that play Pi are believably the same person. The editing is quite inventive, and the computer-generated animals are stunning.

This is one of those films that is so beautiful you could enjoy it without audio. Although it does have strong themes of faith, I'd recommend Life of Pi to people of all beliefs. Even if you don't believe in a higher power, everyone can appreciate a well-told survival story.

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