Film Review: Life of Pi

Reviewed by Sam Robinson

Rated PG. Starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan. Directed by Ang Lee.

[Stars: 4/5]

There aren’t many films that have taken my breath away quite like Life of Pi.

The film revolves around a young Indian lad named Pi (Sharma) who escapes a sinking ship and ends up alone with a tiger on an unpowered boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As Pi recounts his life story, and as incredulous as it might sound, we get completely lost in the story: his isolation, his survival techniques, and his fear as he faces life as a stranded snack for his tiger companion, who, hilariously, is named Richard Parker.

I’m spewing that I missed this at the cinema and in 3D – watching it on DVD just doesn’t have the same impact. But the cinematography and CGI in this film is beyond beautiful – it’s breathtakingly stunning. The way director Lee has created this world at sea and the vibrant colours that go with it is amazing. The story is super-charming and you never really know what turn it’ll take next.

During the film, especially before his journey at sea, Pi is trying to discover God. He tries to juggle being Hindu, Muslim and Christian at once because he “just wants to love God”. This journey of spirituality is weaved through the storyline, as Pi faces wild storms and cries out to his created and customised god.

Pi’s father tells him that “believing in everything is the same as believing in nothing”. This resonates for us as Christians who believe that Jesus is all we need. For we know that Jesus has come, as the Son of the true and living God, and himself claims to be the only way to the Father.

In John 14:6-7, Jesus speaks to Thomas and says –

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Pi wants the best of everything but Jesus has already given us all we need. He shows us the way to God because he is God himself. Trying to customise our own god by adding to Jesus just doesn’t fit with what Jesus says.

Do rent out Life of Pi. It raises some interesting worldviews and claims, and might be a good flick to watch and discuss with your mates who don’t know Jesus yet. Crank the sound and watch it on a big screen if you can. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Life of Pi is available on DVD and Blu-Ray on Quickflix.

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