This is one of those books I’d been meaning to read for the longest time. most of my friends had this on their profiles as their “favorite book” when Friendster was still the popular social media site. I never got to read the book until this year, and I actually watched the movie before I read the book.
I’ve always been skeptical of movie adaptations of books. Most of them don’t live up to the book (“One Day” and “The Time Traveller’s Wife” come to mind). Sometimes, that “something” from the book, ie. the emotions, thoughts it evokes in you is lost when the story is translated to film. But for this particular one, the movie version was just beautiful.
Director Ang Lee did a really good job making the movie. I watched the movie with my nephews and nieces, and they were fascinated with how realistic everything seemed: that tiger! that whale jumping over the boat, those flying fish, that glowing island with meerkats!
By now, we all know the story: enroute by sea to canada with his parents, brother and their zoo animals, Pi loses his family when their ship sinks at sea. With only himself as the human survivor, an orangutan, a zebra, a hyenaa and a tiger in a lifeboat. Eventually, he and the tiger remain to aimlessly float around the pacific ocean for 227 days before finally reaching the shores of Mexico.
When I was reading the book, I was looking out for that part where Pi told the alternate story, there were actually human survivors in the boat (represented as the animals in his other story). I thought the book would clear up that part, and I wanted to know which was the real story, because I thought the movie was too vague on that. But apparently, the movie strayed true to the book’s premise. It is really up to the reader to decide which story works for him.
In trying to think which story was real, I actually went back to the original premise set out by Pi at the beginning of the book: it’s a story that’ll make you believe in God. This is storytelling at it’s best, in my opinion. Kids should read this book. Or maybe just watch the movie, which is just as brilliant.