Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi
Director: Ang Lee
Writer: David Magee
Based on: Yann Martel’s book
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Gérard Depardieu

Plot:
A writer (Rafe Spall) in search of a good story gets the hint that Pi (Irrfan Khan) has an interesting one to tell. So he asks for an interview and hears all about how Pi was shipwrecked and ended up alone on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan and a tiger – Richard Parker. As if survival alone at sea wasn’t difficult enough. But with the shipwreck, Pi’s journey is only beginning.

I read the book a few years ago and I really didn’t like it. But Ang Lee was enough to draw me into the film anyway. And I am glad I went. Despite the movie’s constant attempts to force god down your throat. The movie was just that beautiful.

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Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

I just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. And it was a wonder I did.

When I first started reading it, I couldn’t stand his (to me) smug and condescending tone about the story and how it’s so wonderful and  how he’s found the perfect way to handle religion (and by the way, I don’t consider myself an expert in this field, but I don’t know any Christian religion that would say you don’t need to get baptised, you’re Christian anyway).
I kept on going anyway because my sister (who lent me the book) liked it a lot and she usually has a good taste and although my mother started to read it but gave up because she thought it boring. After about a quarter of the book I seriously considered closing it and never opening it again (anyone who doesn’t know me: that’s a huge decision for me. I even read all of Javier Marias‘ A Heart So White although I knew the “twist” of the story after 20 pages, and it was repetitive and boring as hell…). As I couldn’t decide, I kept on reading and today I finished.

It’s not a bad book, there’s definitely worse out there. But it’s too long, Martel gets lost in boring details. I liked chapter 99 (although he obviously doesn’t expect his readers to read the book up till then as he explains everything. Thank you, Mr Martel, but I do like to think on my own.), I could have lived without chapter 100 (the last one).

He had a good idea but that’s about it. It seems like there was some serious editing missing, maybe (as is increasingly common with publishers, unfortunately) he didn’t have an external editor.

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it, my sister would, my mother wouldn’t, K.  wouldn’t, another friend would, my mother’s best friend would… I guess it depends on how interested you are in life in a lifeboat with botanical and zoological digressions. If not too interested, let somebody tell you the story.

Small Sidenote
Wikipedia tells us that Jean-Pierre Jeunet is supposed to make the movie. I don’t think he would be the right person to do it. Or if there should be a movie at all (although I think that it would work better as a movie than as a book). But the info seems old and imdb doesn’t know anything about it.