Life of Pi - A different look

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by chase, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. chase

    chase Tihar Jail Banned

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    Over the Thanksgiving holiday, found myself watching "Life of Pi"
    in a half-empty theater, and not having read the book or reviews,
    had an uneasy sense that the movie was either an art gem or a
    hopeless flop.

    The movie unfolds with the charms of the lovely Tabu as Pi's mother,
    and an impossibly characterized Adil Hussain as Pi's father. The
    movie revels and celebrates religious syncretism to an extent
    that would have the monotheist fundamentalists scurrying for the exits.

    Pi's mother recounts Yashodha being astonished at the universe in
    baby Krishna's mouth, and Pi enjoys Amar Chitra Katha comics, that
    can only be appreciated by older generations of Indians.

    Pi is drawn to a Church and questions the nature of Jesus sacrifice
    to the nonplussed priest, who has a standard answer - "faith".
    Pi thanks Vishnu for bringing him to Christ, and expresses a desire to
    be baptized, despite his agnostic father's admonishment that you can't
    follow multiple religions simultaneously.

    Pi is also drawn to the local mosque and copies their prayer styles.

    Then begins the life-changing journey of Pi, finding himself marooned
    at high seas in a life-boat with the company of a Bengal tiger. The
    subsequent episodes highlight the movie's strong Hindu message,
    both implicitly and explicitly.

    In one scene, after Pi barely escapes the tiger's attack, stranded
    on a makeshift raft, reasons as only a Hindu would - that the tiger's
    nature is to kill and eat - for that is his Karma. Unencumbered by
    a philosophy that would put man in charge of all animals (thus in a
    position to decide the tiger's fate), Pi proceeds to do the unthinkable
    for a vegetarian - catch a fish, and kill it, to feed the tiger, despite
    the knowledge that keeping the tiger alive is suicidal for Pi: there could
    not be a better implicit message of duty/dharma. His breakdown at killing
    a fish is an explicit ode to the Dharmic credo of ahimsa.

    The trails and tribulations that follow with forlorn Christian and
    Islamic messages are perhaps the author's attempt to seek the divine
    from a syncretized viewpoint that is only possible in a Hindu, and
    would have monotheists squirming in their seats.

    So how would the average viewer on this forum like this movie, that on
    the surface seems to be proclaiming the superficial Hindu's message of
    "all religions are equal"? Pi's rationalist father has an answer: "faith is a
    house with many rooms". Pi's wandering of the rooms at will captures the
    Hindu's freedom, unshackled by dogma, of exploring divinity from a Hindu
    lens, while remaining grounded in Dharmic faith.

    Pi's father eloquently says: "you are only seeing your own emotions
    reflected in the wild tiger; it is not benevolent at all" (rephrased).
    Pi learns this message at the end of his painful journey.

    The Hindu's nurturing of Abrahamic creeds in his environs - hoping to
    see a (non-existent) reflection of his sensibilities in the Abrahamic
    creeds - subtly captures this message, but will surely be lost in
    the difference-anxiety ridden majority.

    Or perhaps I am only taking away the message I want to see, reflected
    by my own sensibilities :)

    Don't miss this one, and see it in 3D if you can. Thumbs-up to director Ang Lee
    for this magnificent melding of cinematography with computer imagery.

    Raj Vedam
    Yahoo! Groups
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Wow sounds amazing! I just took a quick look and was surprised to see the variety of personalities from different countries that have worked on this project!

    This will definitely be on my list of movies to watch! :D
     
  4. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    @Singh gave a completely different opinion on this movie. :notsure:
     
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  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Is Pi pronounced Pie or Pee?
     
  6. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Pie :namaste:
     
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  7. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Is it worth watching or not. Give answer in yes or no.
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    P is silent so its i only

    :crusin2:
     
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  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    I looked at some more reviews, and it seems that the OP was making the movie sound overly philosophical. :dude:

    Apparently, Pi decides to feed the tiger not out of some dharmic beliefs, but because Pi is trapped on a raft that is being tugged by the boat which the tiger occupies. Pi feeds the tiger fish to keep it from eating him and make it well-disposed towards him.

    If there is any underlying philosophy, it's merely the Wille zum Leben.
     
  10. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Jawohl mein Fuhrer!
     
  11. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Das ka das likes this.
  12. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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  13. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^I should really change my avatar...:lol:
     
  14. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    A more realistic review:

     
  15. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    I wonder why Irfan Khan changed his spelling to "Irrfan"?
     
  16. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Arthur Schopenhauer W I 369
     
  17. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    the original book has a lot of philosophy---the movie doesn't have that much .
     
  18. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ok now plz tell whether to watch movie or not
     
  19. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    watch it----its worth it for the spectacular visual 3D effects .
     
  20. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    When something is silent why put it there... oh wait... its English :lol:
     
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  21. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Visual effects hold your attention till the first half. The story is all mumbo-jumbo like the Alchemist.
     
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