Life of Pi is one of my all-time favorite books for many reasons (the animals, the religious chat, the beauty and imagination, and on and on). As many of us book people know, when your favorite book gets turned into a movie, trepidation often sits in your heart right next to excitement.
Let me set you straight for this book. If the movie is anything like the trailer (and we know, a lot of times it isn’t, so again, I say this with hesitant excitement), this is going to be an AMAZING movie.
Here it is, in all its glory:
Confession time: I literally teared up with emotion when I watched this. Seeing the beautiful Richard Parker with Pi, and some of the most gorgeous scenes from the book brought to life before my eyes, I was completely blown away. BLOWN. AWAY. It’s directed by Ang Lee (known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Brokeback Mountain, among others) who I think does a great job, so again, there are high hopes with this one. The film also stars Shravanthi Sainath, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, and the lovely Tobey Maguire as Yann Martel.
What is this Life of Pi, you say? Not aware of this fantastic book, and want to read it before the movie comes out? Here’s a summary:
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?
Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It’s a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.
Life of Pi is set to hit theaters on November 21st.