Life of Pi Essay

Submitted By VNijjar
Words: 1146
Pages: 5

“A Story With God is the Better Story” Does Ang Lee do a good job at staying true to Yann Martels novel? Any book reader would tell you that a movie could never be as good as the book. Be it Shawshank Redemption, The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or any of the good old classics, or as in this case Life of Pi. One main reason is that books and movies are very different things. Movies don’t leave anything to viewer’s imaginations. When reading, a person is creating his or her own movie in a sense and he or she decides many of the important parts: how the characters speak, what they look like and what their surroundings look like. This process of imagining and interpreting as a reader is a creative process that is completely different from a movie. So do I believe that the movie stayed true to the novel? No, not as much as it could’ve and three examples why I believe this are Pi’s love interest, Richard Parker, and the end of the movie. Firstly, one major difference that I have noticed is with Pi’s love interest. In both the novel and the film, Pi is devastated when he learns that his family is leaving their hometown of Pondicherry, India, and heading to Winnipeg, Canada. The movie takes the need of adding a character and giving Pi a love interest that does not appear in the book. In the movie, Pi’s parents are concerned to find that he is practicing Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam all at once. Pi’s mother then tells him to work for a dance class to
take his mind off of things, and this is when Pi’s interest for a girl developed. He follows her and her friends one day after class and is caught off guard when she confronts him. Pi manages to smooth things over and takes her on a tour of his family’s zoo. The two eventually form a relationship thus making Pi’s move to Canada much more difficult. A reason why I believe Ang Lee put this in the film is because it shows that Pi is like any other normal kid and likes girls and romance. It humanizes him and makes him relatable on screen. The thing is more people will watch the movie than have read the book so you would think they’d probably want to make him seem very relatable to the audience. In addition, movies are short compared to reading a whole book so there is less ability to relate to an audience, thus having to find ways to make the audience relate to characters. The movie did this by adding in a girl for Pi to love, and to be vulnerable around so that the audience would recognize the significance of adding a character to Pi’s life on screen. As well as they want to increase the excitement since it’s a Hollywood film, since every Hollywood film has some sort of romance going on. They do this because romance blossoming in a movie is the viewers’ guilty pleasure. Secondly, another major difference is between Pi and Richard Parker. Pi’s relationship with Richard Parker changes throughout the book and movie. In the movie, Richard Parker is extremely aggressive and while Pi manages to survive with him for 227 days, he never really trained the tiger completely. In fact, there is one scene in which Pi tries to train Richard Parker by getting him to feel seasick whenever he blows the whistle. But when Richard Parker still showed signs of aggression, Pi just gives up on the

3 training. The book on the other hand, shows that Pi is very knowledgeable about animals because of his experience at his father’s zoo, as well as his father’s teachings. He is very cautious around Richard Parker, but he quickly projects himself as the alpha male and marks his territory on the boat. Pi is also more constructive in his training with Richard
Parker and has him literally jumping through hoops by the end of the book. On multiple occasions, Pi also notices Richard Parker making a sound known as prusten; a noise tigers makes to show they are not aggressive, kind of like a dog whining. Lastly, which I personally don’t agree with is the ending. Life of Pi ends with