The Life of Pi

Book vs. Movie

Life of Pi (book)     Life of Pi (movie)

If ever there was a good movie to make, it would be this one—since the plot is so fantastical.  That said, although I certainly enjoyed the film because it was quite wonderfully done, the novel had more to devour.  I was not surprised that some things were not presented exactly as in the book but I was wondering why the screenplay even bothered to to include a love interest for Pi before he leaves India, when there is no mention of this in the story.  As well, it would have been fun to add certain parts of the tale (of which I was expecting but then disappointed when not featured) to bring some comic relief—for example when all three different religious officials start to argue about which religion is better, in front of Pi and his parents.  I also would have liked to see the “human” ending to Pi’s story being re-enacted, however brief.  I suppose seeing people under those circumstances would make anyone squirm, though.  I believe it would really make us want to question his story more if the movie showed Pi’s other version.  Enabling Martel’s words to come to life (indeed literally jumping from the screen, thanks to the 3D effects) is a beautiful feat, which is worth seeing—but do not miss the opportunity to fully understand Pi’s character and the in-depth meaning of his adventure via the novel.  Might I mention that it was really cool to see scenes from Montreal in the movie!  There were clear indications of the Old Port and the neighborhood of Westmount, as typical settings of the city.  My suggestion  is to read the book first, then see the movie.  You will appreciate both of them better if you do it in that sequence.  What did you think of the on-screen rendition?  Was it fair to the novel?

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