I'll admit it, folks...I don't read a lot. It's not because I don't like to. I really do. I just find lately that I don't have the drive to do it at the end of a long day or when I do have a bit of time on the weekends. Needless to say, I did not read "Life of Pi' by Yann Martel prior to seeing Ang Lee's movie. I'm actually glad that I didn't.
"Life of Pi" is an unusual story. Pi's full name is Piscine Molitor Patel, but when his peers at school find a way to mock his name, he shortens it to Pi. Pi's father owns a zoo in India, and Pi becomes fascinated by a tiger named Richard Parker (through a clerical error). Pi is raised Hindu, but he becomes curious about Christianity and Islam as well, and begins to follow all three at once. When Pi turns 16, his father decides to sell the zoo, take the animals to Canada where they will be sold, and start a new life. During the journey, the boat hits a devastating storm. Pi is left alone in a lifeboat with a crippled zebra, a hungry hyena, an orangutan who lost her baby, and Richard Parker. Pi must improvise in order to survive such a precarious situation.
There were two movies out of this year's nominees for Best Picture that moved me deeply. "Les Miserables" hit home the message for me that a person can be redeemed, no matter how far they fall, and doing things by the book isn't always going to make you right. "Life of Pi" spoke to me in a different way: It doesn't matter why you believe whatever you believe, as long as you have faith. The movie itself is beautiful to watch, and the story takes some unusal turns. There is some harsh violence, and the shipwreck is probably pretty scary for kids. I rate it 94/100. It is #2 on my list of Best Picture nominees. "Life of Pi" is not showing locally, but if you don't mind driving, it is playing at AMC Loews Woodridge 18 and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, as well as Classic Cinemas Ogden 6 in Naperville.