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Life of Pi - Movie Review

Essay by   •  September 4, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,175 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,798 Views

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Stimulating circumstances in an individual’s life will constantly lead them to a transformed speculation on the presumed assumptions of the world, ones values and their own perceived views of themselves and others. Once the consequence is completed the individual is a changed person, therefore the events and relationships leading up to the discovery or rediscovery bring about the aforementioned renewed ideologies. Ang Lee’s 2012 film Life of Pi explores the protagonist, Pi as he journeys through the metaphorical ‘sea of life’, uninfluenced by family or the familiar. As a consequence of the events at sea and his relationship with Richard Parker, Pi undergoes self-discovery which leads him to a renewed perception of the world, his values of religion and his understanding of himself as a survivor, aggressor and oppressor. Similarly, Paul Auster’s 1982 memoir The Invention of Solitude explores the persona, Auster, as he uncovers his estranged fathers past through dealing with his possessions after his death. Through the event, inspired by human condition, Auster is evoked by curiosity to know more and unravel his father further. This leads him to the poignant realisation of himself being incomplete in the relationship with his son Daniel. As a result of this, Auster attempts to fill the void, the consequence being his renewed perception of himself as a son and father. Furthermore, William Henley’s 1875 poetic work Invictus explores the individual coming to a transformed perspective of the world’s assumptions, and themselves as an unconquerable soul. The spiritual self-discovery causes the persona, Henley, to appear indestructible in circumstance. As he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he faced his leg being amputated. He sought a doctor who would eventually save him. He writes in hospital, a clear indication of the state of his soul, being steadfast. Evidently, these texts portray an individual who undergoes provocative circumstances, which lead to a renewed and transformed perception of the world. These previous assumptions are now confirmed through the making od self-discovery.

In Life of Pi, Lee implements place, in order to capture the futility of Pi, which would lead to his change in ideology. The aerial shot used portrays Pi and RP as insignificant in the vastness of the Pacific. The shot faces directly down on the lifeboat allowing audience speculation on the characters. The futility carries the notion of death, Pi either succumbs or struggles, evidently, he struggles, “Above all don’t lose hope.” Pi has been orphaned and casted away on a lifeboat with a tiger, yet he places hope as the highest priority. The struggle against death, to overpower it and achieve life despite mortality displays Pi as resilient in circumstance. The low angle shot of Pi as he aggressively pounds a fish he has caught with a hatchet of his own making is Lee’s testament of survival, the monumental shift in character that Pi has undergone. Pi is a practising Hindu and his, in his belief committed murder. The ramification of this situation sees Pi envelop in tears, crying, “Thank you Lord Vishnu, thank you for coming in the form of a fish and saving our lives.” Clearly, Pi has forsaken previous ideology that he would survive unaltered, this is pivotal as Pi is viewed to be willing to understand and perform the necessary action to live. This brings about a change in his perception of nature, from respecting all life to placing self-survival as the key priority. As explored , place and event coupled with personality and ideology shape Pi into an oppressed, futile character. Through film technique Lee invites the audience to view Pi as a survivor. As a result Pi himself is transformed in perception through the newfound transformation of constructive aggression, striving for his survival, regardless of the values forsaken.

The Invention of Solitude brings to the fore, Auster as an incomplete character who is evoked by curiosity to face his fathers past that he might understand it, and by extension understand himself as a man. “There is nothing more terrible, I learned, than facing the objects of a dead man.” The fearful tone of voice as well as the irony of the statement is applied by Auster to express his futility



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