Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a tragic disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While marooned on a lifeboat, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship’s only other survivor — a fearsome Bengal tiger.
“Life of Pi” is a fascinatingly unique story that has no parallel. Pi is the son of a zookeeper in India forced to sell his property and take his family and animals via cargo ship to Canada. Unfortunately, the ship capsizes in a storm and PI and a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger find themselves as the lone survivors on a lifeboat. Without including any spoilers, suffice to say the boat-mates are not a friendly bunch. There are many twists and turns that keep the audience alert. “Life of Pi” is much more than a story of survival; it’s a story of sacrifice, love, compromise, forgiveness, and ultimately dependency on God.
Pi’s agnostic father taught him, “Faith is a house with many rooms.” Pi himself is a religious person, but without a specific doctrine. He often prays to the God he learned about from a Catholic priest, but occasionally sends up an appeal to Allah, Vishnu, and Krishna. One desperate prayer Pi cries out when he’s nearly lost all hope is, “God, I give myself to you, a vessel.”
The cinematography is spectacular, and the CGI and 3D effects rival those in “Avatar.” The movie is rated PG, however, there are several tragic events that are better taken in by older audiences. Therefore, we are pleased to award this profoundly moving story on film the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for audiences over age 12.