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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Movie Review: “The Life Of Pi”

Jane Kao & Lily Lai

   There were many famous movies released last year, and Life of Pi was one of them. This movie was directed by Ang Lee, who was awarded the Oscar for best director. This was one reason why we liked this movie. The other reason was that this movie not only describes a boy’s life on the boat, but also pictures the struggle between humanity and beastliness.

    Pi’s father operated a zoo. However, because the government took away the family’s land, they had to move to Canada. Unfortunately, they encountered a storm when they were on the ship. Only Pi and four animals, a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a tiger survived. Pi and the animals escaped in a lifeboat. After a while, the hyena killed the zebra and the orangutan, but the hyena was then killed by the tiger. Therefore, Pi and the tiger were left alone on the small boat. One day, Pi and the tiger drifted to an island. Pi found food and water on the island, and this helped them survive. However, he also found that the island was full of danger, so he decided to leave with the tiger. Finally, the lifeboat landed, and Pi was rescued; however, the tiger ran away.

    The special thing about this movie is the special effects. The tiger and the other animals and those wonderful scenes in the sea were all created by computer. However, they looked so real that you couldn’t tell that they were just special effects. Another special thing about the movie was that some of the scenery in the movie was filmed in Taiwan! For example, the zoo scenes were filmed in the Fushan Botanical Garden in central Taiwan.

    This movie has many metaphors, such as Pi and four animals: the tiger is Pi, the hyena is the ship’s cook, the zebra is a sailor, and the orangutan is Pi’s mother. Some people believe that in real life the cook killed the sailor and Pi’s mother and then Pi killed the cook. This story seems reasonable; however, there are still some parts of this story that seem unreasonable. First, Pi’s mother held onto some bananas and made it to the lifeboat; however, bananas don’t float! Another error was that a cook is a person who prepares food, but after he killed Pi’s mother, he threw her body into the sea rather than use mother as meat. Another error was that meerkats live in the dessert not on islands like in the movie. Because we found these errors, we think that there is a third story. This third story could explain where the mother went and what really happened to Pi. Although the director intentionally conceals this third story, he hopes we will think about it because everything is in the movie.

    The struggle between humanity and beastliness is the most important point in this film. Humanity follows morality, but beastliness desires only to survive. This is a movie worth pondering. What would you do if you were Pi? Which story would you believe?


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