I read this book way back in high school. I was so impressed by the book, mainly because I thought how could someone think of something as arbitrary as putting a teenage boy and a Royal Bengal Tiger on a boat stranded in Pacific Ocean. I don’t think I was evolved enough to appreciate Pi’s character except his resilience and intelligence at sea. I loved all the action that happened at sea and how Pi kept himself and Richard Parker alive.
Years later, I went to watch this movie only because I remembered the feeling I had when I read the book. Now, if you have watched the movie, you would agree that the director has done a fabulous job of recreating it. The visuals are so great and that is all thanks to technology. But the way the scenes have been conceptualized is incredible to me.
The book mentions that Pi was hallucinating at one point. But the way it is shown in the movie, how he stares endlessly at a point and the images come and go and overlap until things start or stop making sense – that is so freaking amazing. Or the place where Pi calls out to Richard Parker and Richard Parker is so tired, but you see the tiger’s back and a little twitch of his ear. There are so many details steeped in that masterpiece that even after watching the movie so many times, I believe, I take away something new each time.
The teenage Pi played by Suraj Sharma is so good. He brings to screen his happiness, frustration, fear, belief in God, his questioning to God so spectacularly.
Irrfan Khan too does a fab job as the narrator and the grown up Pi who narrates his story to a writer. His expressions and emotions seem so apt – so controlled because what he’s gone through for real is the stuff nightmares are made of. And yet, there is a softness and stirring of emotions beneath the surface when he speaks about his parents, girlfriend or Richard Parker.
My most favorite part of the movie is towards the very end when Pi is finishing his story and how when he reaches the shore and watches Richard Parker go away in the jungle “leaving him so unceremoniously”, he says:
“I suppose, in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.
It touches my soul such that I almost always shed a tear at this point.
If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, you must. Both are a masterpiece in their own right. If have have, do share your favorite scene or quote from the movie.