What You Need To Know:
Ang Lee does a wonderful job directing LIFE OF PI, creating beautiful, fantastical scenes. Suraj Sharma does a really great job as Pi. However, the script is a little convoluted and disjointed. Some things could be cut to make the movie more fluid and cohesive. Also, despite the positive Christian references, LIFE OF PI eventually says that all roads lead to Heaven.
(PaPa, FRFR, CC, L, VV, N, M) Strong mixed, syncretistic, somewhat mystical, pagan worldview, with some false religion and theology and a mystical explanation of God that ultimately says all roads lead to Heaven and each person gets to know God in their own personal way, with Hindu statues, praying to the Hindu god Vishnu, main character wears Muslim attire and does Muslim prayers, but main character also starts going to Catholic Christian church with icons of Jesus, gets a positive explanation of Christianity and Christ sacrifice on the Cross from the priest, and protagonist cries out to God and says he will completely lay down his life for God; no foul language, plus lots of commentary about pissing urinating because it is the main character’s name until he says otherwise and boy urinates to show territory and animals urinate on him; some intense violence includes scary tiger threatens boy, hyena kills and eats other animals, tiger kills hyena, violent storm and boat sinks and all die except for one, implied killing done so in a metaphor; no sexual content; upper male nudity; no alcohol use; no smoking; and, lying.
Pi is a young boy who goes on an incredible adventure in LIFE OF PI. LIFE OF PI is a syncretistic story that clearly says all roads lead to heaven, but there are some positive references to Jesus, Christianity and prayer.
In the opening, a writer has heard of a legendary man named Pi, but comes to Pi for the full story. As a young boy, Pi was always teased for his name, which is Pissing, so one day in school, Pi writes out the whole equation for Pi.
During this time, Pi also is eager to find God. His mother is a Hindu, so he takes on those practices. While out playing with his brother, Pi stumbles upon a Catholic church, and his brother bets him to go drink the holy water. Just as Pi was to run out of the church, a Catholic Priest starts talking to him and explains why Jesus sacrificed on the cross, because He loved the world. Pi continues to go back to the Catholic Priest to hear the Catholic beliefs on God. Soon, Pi wants to be baptized. At the same time, Pi starts to follow Islamic practices as well. At this point, Pi is a Catholic, a Hindu and a Muslim, while his mother is a Hindu and his father an atheist.
Pi’s father feels unsafe in India and decides to move the family out. They own a zoo, so this isn’t an easy task. However, the family boards a freighter with some of their animals and heads towards Canada.
One night there’s a huge storm. Pi goes out to watch and the whole boat goes under, including his parents and brother. Pi is able to jump on a small boat, but some of the zoo animals get on board too, including a zebra, a hyena, a tiger, and a monkey. The hyena eventually kills and eats the zebra and monkey, but the tiger kills the hyena. All that is left on the boat is Pi and the tiger. Now, Pi must learn how to tame the tiger. Through all this, Pi cries out to God and says he will completely sacrifice himself.
LIFE OF PI has a syncretistic, or mixed, view towards faith, believing that all roads lead to heaven. There are good points directing to Christianity, but the underlying premise is that every religion leads to heaven. The movie also says every person can come to know God through their own way. That said, Pi does cry out to God and says he will completely lay down his life for God.
Ang Lee does a wonderful job at directing LIFE OF PI, with beautiful fantastical scenes. The script is a little convoluted and disjointed. Some things could be cut to make the movie more fluid and cohesive. However, Suraj Sharma, playing Pi, does a really great job as a brand new actor capturing the emotion of his scenes. Strong caution is advised for the movie’s mixed messages.