Film of the Book: Life of Pi

It’s been quite a long time since I read A Life of Pi, I remembered it, but not vividly. I think that’s part of the reason I enjoyed the film so much it reminded me of how much I had loved the book when I read it, but I wasn’t constantly comparing it to the book. My boyfriend, who did read the book recently, said that he preferred the book, and that’s something I tend to find when a book is fresh in your mind.

Despite the fact that I knew what was going to happen I found Richard Parker rather scary. In light of it I was quite surprised of the PG rating. I watched it in 2D and I can imagine that scaring children, but in 3D it would be even worse. Plus there is the alternative story, which, while not shown in images, is rather disturbing. I remember deciding it was the untrue version when I read it. I had a fairly rational reason for believing that, based on the existence of the island, but looking back I think I decided to ‘believe’ the tiger story because actually it was nicer.

Considering the areas of the book which were less child friendly in a way it was a little less brutal. Times which you could imagine being disturbing on film were usually there but somewhat hidden. For example you see the zebra being attacked but not eaten, and then it just disappears. I can see why the film makers did it. Those moments could well put a person off a film, and you could still tell what had happened without really seeing it.

It’s worth a watch, but maybe leave the kids at home.



Filed under Film review

6 responses to “Film of the Book: Life of Pi

  1. Toots

    The part of the book that really stuck in my mind was Pi’s preference for Christianity because the god became a frail human being and shared the experiences of his creatures. I found that very powerful. Rather like the bit in ‘The Sword in the Stone’ (I think – if not, I don’t know where I read it) where God hands out qualities which different species ask for. When the human approaches his throne he asks for nothing but to be as God has already made him; this is why humanity is what it is.

    I wonder if the philosophical ideas in the ‘Life of Pi’ came across in the film. The most visually stunning and narratively fascinating part, in my imagination, was the island. But, like you, it is a long time since I read it. I certainly want to see the film, if only to see if it can really do justice to the book.


  2. I read the book some years ago, and found some parts quite slow-moving. My boyfriend similarly couldn’t get into it. However, the film looks so beautifully filmed, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I’m tempted to re-read the novel: I read it so long ago, and I was probably too young to follow the plot fully.

    I agree that film ratings have gone crazy lately, I’ve seen so many 12A films this year that I was terrified by!


  3. You should try it again. It really is fantastic.


  4. There was still a religion element, with Pi exploring the different religions, and there was the suggestion that the story would make you believe in God. And he pays when he is on the boat. However it never explained why he chose to be catholic.


  5. I am going to see the film in 3D in a few days and I can’t wait since I read the book over christmas and absolutely loved it. I am sure I will compare the two, but what the film lacks in detail (which seems to be the main problem with film adaptions) it will hopefully make up for in visual effects. I loved the story and the comparison between story-telling and faith/religion, and I hope the film will bring another “eye candy” aspect to it. Can’t wait!


  6. The visual effects are pretty amazing. I hope you enjoy it.


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