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This was viewed at a repeat screening at my local arts centre of this book by Yann Martel turned movie. Having not read the book I got to experience the full force of this adventurous occasionally tumultuous screen adaptation. Piscine a.k.a Pi is a young Indian boy curious to understand the world and God. The film starts with his voracious devouring of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity amidst his family owned zoo!
Inevitably his father owning a zoo becomes unsustainable so the family decide to move abroad and travel by ship (with zoo animals on-board because they are being transported to another zoo.) A biblical storm breaks out and all are cast out of the ship.
Pi is left alone on-board a small rescue boat with a hyena, zebra and orang-utan. The film contains flashback scenes between present time where Pi is a grown man to his childhood and adolescence the latter period spent stranded on the pacific ocean for 227 days! Pi often fondly refers to Richard Parker.
We soon discover who Richard Parker is and witness the humanizing bond between adolescent-aged Pi and the Bengal tiger. There are scenes of a barbaric nature and violence between man and beast. The viewer as does our protagonist wanders if a beast i.e. the tiger can be tamed. do animals have souls, can we emotionally tune in and connect to them to vanquish the predatory dynamic between man and beast?
Many violent storms and spectaculars ocean views aplenty to feast you eyes on and there is a detour into a mysterious island. There is a land-bound ending and one questions the significance of Pi’s suffering and trials on-board the rescue boat especially as there are no other human witnesses. Or is there?
Suraj Sharma plays Pi during his oceanic adventure and his performance is incredible. he is a spectacular actor and was only a mere teenager himself when cast in the role. Impressive? Most definitely!
A worthwhile one-time viewing!
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