‘Life of Pi’ Ending Explained

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 19th, 2014 at 10:25 am,

Life of Pi Ending Explained Life of Pi Ending Explained

Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is racking-up critical acclaim (read our review) and pre-award season buzz along with solid box office numbers. Though, for every mention of the film’s beautiful 3D or amazing CGI tiger, there’s a fuddled viewer confused by the movie’s controversial ending.

Readers of Yann Martel’s original novel (the ones who made it to the end) have already faced the challenging last-minute question presented by the story’s narrator, but filmgoers expecting a fanciful adventure at sea have been understandably caught off-guard by the finale. No doubt, viewers will debate the ending with friends and family – but to help steer discussion we’ve put together a brief analysis of the Life of Pi ending, explaining why the final question may not be as cut and dry as some moviegoers seem to think.

It goes without saying that the remainder of this article will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for Life of Pi - the movie and the book (especially the ending). If you do not want to be spoiled about either, turn away now.

Life of Pi Shipwreck Life of Pi Ending Explained

For anyone who hasn’t seen (or read) Life of Pi and isn’t concerned about having the ending spoiled, Pi’s adventure concludes in a Mexican hospital bed – where he is interviewed by a pair of Japanese Ministry of Transport officials. The agents tell Pi that his story – which includes multiple animal companions and a carnivorous island – is too unbelievable for them to report, so Pi tells them a different version of the story: one that paints a much darker and emotionally disturbing variation of events. After both stories have been shared, Pi leaves it up to the viewer (or reader) to decide which version they “prefer.”

Personal “preference” has larger thematic meaning, when viewed in the context of the overarching story; however, before we analyze the ending (via the question) in greater detail, we’re going to briefly lay out the two versions of Pi’s story.

In both accounts, Pi’s father contracts a Japanese ship to transport his family, along with a number of their zoo animals, from India to Canada in an effort to escape political upheaval in their native country. The stories are identical up until Pi climbs aboard the lifeboat (following the sinking of the cargo ship) only re-converging when he is rescued on the Mexican shore. The 227 days that Pi spends lost at sea are up for debate.

Life of Pi Richard Parker Life of Pi Ending Explained

The Animal Story

In this version of Pi’s tale, the cargo ship sinks and, during the ensuing chaos, he is joined on the lifeboat by a ragtag group of zoo animals that also managed to escape: an orangutan, a spotted hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, and a Bengal Tiger (named Richard Parker). After some time, Pi watches helplessly as the hyena kills the zebra and then the orangutan before it is, subsequently, dispatched by Richard Parker. Pi then sets about conditioning the tiger through rewarding behavior (food and fresh water), so that the two can co-exist in the boat. Though Pi succeeds, the pair remain on the verge of starvation – until, after several months at sea, they wash ashore an uncharted island packed with fresh vegetation and a bountiful meerkat population. Pi and Richard Parker stuff themselves, but soon discover that the island is home to a carnivorous algae that, when the tide arrives, turns the ground to an acidic trap. Pi realizes that eventually the island will consume them – so he stocks the lifeboat with greens and meerkats and the pair sets sail again. When the lifeboat makes landfall along the Mexican coast, Pi and Richard Parker are once again malnourished – as Pi collapses on the beach, he watches the Bengal Tiger disappear into the jungle without even glancing back.

Pi is brought to a hospital – where he tells the animal story to the Japanese officials. However, when the agents do not believe his tale, the young survivor tells a different version of his journey.

Life of Pi Suraj Sharma Boat Life of Pi Ending Explained

The Human Story

In this version of Pi’s tale the cargo ship still sinks, but instead of the ragtag group of animals in the lifeboat, Pi claims that he was joined by his mother (Gita), the ship’s despicable cook, and an injured Japanese sailor. After some time, fearing for the limited supplies in the boat, the cook kills the weakened Japanese sailor, and later, Gita. Scarred from watching his mother die in front of his eyes, Pi kills the cook in a moment of self-preservation (and revenge).

Pi does not mention his other adventures at sea (the carnivorous island, etc) but it’d be easy to strip away some of the fantastical elements in favor of more grounded (albeit allegorical) situations. Maybe he found an island but realized that living is more than just eating and existing – deciding to take his chances at sea instead of wasting away in apathy on a beach eating meerkats all alone. Of course, that is purely speculation – since, again, Pi does not elaborate on the more grounded human story beyond the revelation that he was alone on the lifeboat.

Life of Pi Whale Life of Pi Ending Explained

The Ending Explained

Even if the connection between the lifeboat parties was missed, the writer makes the connection for the audience (or readers): the hyena is the cook, the orangutan is Pi’s mother, the zebra is the sailor, and Richard Parker is Pi. However, the film’s juxtaposition of the animal story and the human story has led many moviegoers to view the last-minute plot point as a finite “twist” – which was not the original intention of Martel (with the book) or very likely Lee (with the film). Viewers have pointed to the look of anguish on Pi’s face during his telling of the human story in the film as “proof” that he was uncomfortable facing the true horror of his experience. However, the novel takes the scene in the opposite direction, with Pi expressing annoyance at the two men – criticizing them for wanting “a story they already know.” Either way, much like the ending of Inception (read our explanation of that ending), there is no “correct” answer – and Life of Pi intentionally leaves the question unanswered so that viewers (and readers) can make up their own mind.

Facing the final question, it can be easy to forget that, from the outset, The Writer character was promised a story that would make him believe in God. In the first part of the narrative, we see Pi struggling to reconcile the differences between faith interpretations (Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam) – acknowledging that each of them contained valuable elements, even if they tell different stories (elements that together help him survive his ordeal at sea regardless of whether or not he was there with a tiger).

As a result, the larger question is impossible to answer definitively and, as mentioned, the “truth” of Pi’s story is of little concern to Martel or Lee. The real question is – which story do you, the viewer/reader prefer? Interpretation is subjective but the question is intended to serve as a moment of theological reflection. Are you a person that prefers to believe in things that always make sense/things that you can see? Or are you a person that prefers to believe in miracles/take things on faith? There are no right or wrong answers – just an opportunity for introspection.

Life of Pi Island Life of Pi Ending Explained

Pi is faced with a heavy challenge: telling a story that will make a person believe in God. Some listeners might remain unconvinced but in the case of The Writer, who openly admits that he prefers the story with the tiger, and the Japanese officials, who in their closing report remarked on the feat of “surviving 227 days at sea… especially with a tiger,” Pi successfully helps skeptics overcome one of the largest hurdles to faith – believing in the unbelievable.

Since Pi marries The Writer’s preference for the Tiger story with the line, “and so it goes with God,” it’s hard to separate the question entirely from theology. Evidenced by his multi-religion background, Pi does not believe that any of the world’s religions are a one-stop shop for the truth of God – and his goal is not to convert anyone to a specific dogma. Instead, his story is set up to help viewers/readers consider which version of the world they prefer – the one where we make our own way and suffer through the darkness via self-determination, or the one where we are aided by something greater than ourselves (regardless of which version of “God” we may accept).

That said, aside from all the theological implications, and regardless of personal preference, it’s insular to view the ending as simply a dismissal of everything that Pi had previously described (and/or experienced) – since, in keeping with his view that every religious story has worthwhile parts, a third interpretation of the ending could be that the “truth” is a mix of both stories. Like Pi and his three-tiered faith routine, the viewer/reader can always pick and choose the parts that benefit their preferred version of the tale.

Life of Pi Suraj Sharma Life of Pi Ending Explained

The “truth”: Pi survived for 227 days at sea, married the girl of his dreams, had children, and lived to tell two stories.

Like any quality piece of entertainment, a lot of this is subjective and there are multiple ways of interpreting the Life of Pi ending, so feel free to (respectfully) share your interpretation with fellow moviegoers in the comment section below.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Life of Pi episode of the SR Underground podcast.

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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Life of Pi as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Life of Pi is now playing in theaters everywhere. It is Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.

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2,794 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. When the tiger walked away, Pi was seeing God’s forgiveness. The horror is done, and gone, and there is no need to look back. And that is the truth of the movie.

  2. After PI says the outcome is the same in both situations and what is the better story, the response is the tiger story. Then PI responds: “and so it goes with God”. That leads me to conclude that in life if the outcome is the same, then you might as well believe the better story. Whether that is the Hopi Kachina creation story or the bible version of creation, it is certainly a better story than the big bang and then evolving from some slimy creature crawling out of the sea.
    However, in this case the belief came after the outcome, not before. Belief affects outcome. A strong belief in God can be good or bad depending on the situation. Certain religions rely on God to heal their children when they become ill, which often times gives those children the chance to meet God much sooner than had they taken them to a hospital. When the outcome is the same, then believe in the better story. That is why I hoped my children would continue believing in Santa Claus as long as possible. However, when you belief in God and that results in a negative outcome because you hate others because they do not believe the same way you do, then maybe science, logic and the inherent good in all of us is a better belief.

  3. I think its interesting how this story is generally considered by folks to support a belief in God and religious belief. I feel that it may beautifully and poetically *explain* how religious belief can come about. To me the movie just seems to illustrate how an individual can generate a concurrent story which is derived from a traumatic and inexplicable experience. Metaphor is used here to tell the essential story about his journey, but to distance himself from the most painful aspects. If anything, it sort of deconstructs how religious stories are created.

  4. One looks and searches for meaning within a path which correlates with their own. Just because someone has passed through different roads, does not mean they are wrong. Just because someone believes, or not, does not make them wrong. Choose a path, let others know, but do not push others down because you do not believe their side of the story, right?

  5. The animal storyis the real one.
    At the end the Canadian reads the letter that said no one had survived that long or with an adult tiger. The guy smiles because thats the story he piked. Duuuuuuuuuuuuh….!!! Attention on the movie please ….!!

    • If one actually paid attention to the movie they would have understood that there was the true story (the tragic human story) and the fake story (the fantasy animal story… you know with Pi cuddling an adult tiger and going to a carnivorous island, etc. … which any reasonably sane person would recognize as fantastic nonsense). Many people, including the agents who wrote the ‘letter,’ will choose the fake story because they cannot handle the harsh reality.

  6. For the people who don’t believe in God all I can say is do some research, start by reading a book called “Proof of Heaven” it’s by a neurosurgeon who died and went to the other side, He said he didn’t believe in it till God showed him what it’s all about, he said The Kingdom of Heaven, God and Jesus are very real, he was a non believer before his experience, He was purely into science, Not any more! He said a part of his brain that produces things like dreams had shut down and it’s impossible for it to be a dream or simply the brain shutting down, he said our brains are not equipped to remember things before we were born.

    Like I’ve said in my previous post my mother also has had a near death experience, The spiritual realm is where we belong, their are also many other books and stories on the internet on this subject and all I have read has said (even believers of other faiths) has mentioned the presence of Jesus Christ, their are over 10,000 reported NDEs in the US alone, and that’s the reported ones, with the size of the Universe which could go on forever or multi-verse which scientist now are saying, it would be far more astonishing if a higher being did not exist, that everything is just here for the sake of it, like some fluke, We can bounce around all day arguing about who is right, Just go to the source and read peoples experiences when they Flatline, If you think God doesn’t exist then your in for a big shock one day!

    • The Christians I’ve had conversations with concerning their religious beliefs, are very ignorant of the bible. I’ve yet to meet one who has bothered to read all of the bible. And when it comes to other religions, and gods that proceeded their own, they are total ignorant. You can try to educate them to the fact that many of the beliefs associated with Christianity were taken from earlier Sumerian, and Egyptian beliefs, that predate Christianity, and they will strongly deny that, having no idea what you are talking about.

      They will also deny that the King James version of the bible describes the earth as flat and immovable (see the web site “Flat Earth Bible” for versus), or that their deity commanded the killing of fetuses and young children, on more than one occasion. See Isaiah 13:15-18 for an example.

      Key words for learning more about the roots of Christianity: “Sumerians, Egyptians, Christianity. Also see: Hebrew Bible: Plagiarized Mythology and Defaced Monotheism

      Another common response from a Christian, when you mention items that are in their bible, they had no idea were there, is: “You sure know a lot about the bible”. Yeah, that’s why I’m an atheist.

      • @Snook: This is a combined response to a couple of your posts. THE Creator doesn’t need a creator. Being identified as the origin requires no predecessor. Saying that there can’t be a higher power who thought out the intricacies of existence because, the physical by religious accounts needs a starting point, and then not leaving room for that starting point to be the actual starting point, is a poor rationalization. I find -> God created men who created gods that act like men, who created men that think they’re gods.

        Human beginnings can be traced back to Africa and moving into Asia. From these regions come the onset of scientific exploration and most of the continued widespread spiritual beliefs (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam). As you probably know, the first Christians were Jews. And where did the Jews originate from? Africa. The Jews lived in Egypt for a time. Egyptian religion and rituals were influenced by neighboring nations and short-term foreign leaders. Long before the Egyptian metropolis there were older African societies with beliefs in god(s). Some of their descendants continue to practice these traditions today. Something we don’t hear much about in European history is that Africans and Asians traveled and networked with the people who settled the Americas, generations before Colonialism. Perhaps more than plagiarizing another doctrine/belief which does occur, what we have is human history and the prevailing truth that from earliest man and woman, God was known. Both seen in creation and separate from it.

        It’s not a secret that Christianity is a newer belief system in the scope of human record. Judaism and Christianity’s adolescence compared to other religions doesn’t discount that [a] god(s), the God is real. By admission the course of both beliefs shows God selecting an age when he would form and train a nation of people and another age when the Messiah would be delivered. God doesn’t work on our schedule, he isn’t restrained by time. So, if and when he chooses to reveal himself, would be complete divine prerogative.

        *I have an honest question about atheism, asked without provocation. Is atheism simply being void of a concept of a god? Meaning it’s an idea that never would’ve dawned on a particular person and too foreign to consider. Is it a rejection of the need to answer to a conscious higher being, with the status of its existence irrelevant? Or is it the pursuit to disprove the existence of [a] god(s) for whatever the intention? Like how constituents of politicians debate and give reasons for why their candidate should be elected and the others not. Wouldn’t this be considered a waste of time? Maybe it’s like any other theological stance – there are different levels and styles of belief, personal back stories, and varying degrees of fervency.

        • I am not an atheist, but I do know and love some people who are. I wouldn’t suggest that every person has the same reason for presuming the non-existence of God, but I do think that some people do so because they feel they are unequipped to live in the tension between rational and irrational modes of understanding. I suspect they dread the pain and shame of self-deception if the Higher Power in whom they have put their trust in turns out to be a delusion, so they would rather take their lumps up front and not waste hope on something as unquantifiable (and irrational) as God. It makes sense, and we all do it in some area or other when we tamp down our expectations for fear of disappointment. Still I never met a human being who was wholly at home in the indifferent and limited universe of rational thinking. There is no reassurance there–only the cold comfort of statistical probabilities. We have to hope that good things are coming our way if only to care enough to preserve our lives from one day to the next. That is the beginning of irrational faith right there. It is instinctual in human beings, and whether we like it or not we are already in the midst of it anytime we suppose that our happiness matters in the scheme of things. I honestly do not believe that God condemns anyone who is skeptical of what he cannot see. Doubt and chance are fundamental conditions of this life, but I think people who believe in God’s promises (communicated to their “hearts” by whatever means) are more at peace because through faith they have their assurance here and now. Faith requires constant effort and must forever be willing to cede ground to what is proven true and rational (which is why God requires humility from those who profess to understand what is fundamentally incomprehensible). Personally, I can’t have faith in something I know is untrue, but what little I actually know leaves enough room for what I intuit will become evident in time. There are tense moments, but I find that with hope I can live in that tension.

          • Thank you.

            • Beautifully and compassionately written

            • Beautifully and compassionately written.

          • Thank you, David. Love how open and humble you are. I believe the phrase is “epistemological humility.” In my own journey for the same, I’ve come to rest on many of the same methods you articulate for navigating the inherent tensions between faith and doubt.

          • Well done.

      • Snooks, you have been talking to the wrong people. There are all different levels of intelligence. If you spoke to some Christians who were on your intellectual level you would have a completely different conversational experience.

        I spoke with someone whom I thought was at least of average intelligence who was surprised to learn that Jesus did not speak English and also that he did not write the Bible! I was so stunned that I changed the subject.

        You are talking to or listening to people who, with their ignorance, make you feel more secure in what you already believe. We all do that to some degree because comfort zones are, well…comfortable!

        This is not an attack on your belief system. I’m just dumbfounded by the amount of passion on this site from both sides (believers and non-believers). The non-believers generally think the believers are ignorant and use religion as a crutch and the believers tend to think non-believers suffer from some malady that prevents them from recognizing what believers perceive to be truth.

        Sometimes people on both sides of the fence change their minds. Perhaps the most important things are for all of us to never stop learning and seeking truth, always try to keep our minds open, and always be kind and respectful whenever possible.

      • @Snooks, you are correct that the origins of many beliefs of so-called Christian religions can be traced back to Babylon and Egypt as well as Ancient Greece and Rome. At Matthew chapter 7 Jesus said that many people would say “Lord, Lord” indicating that they believed they were Christian but Jesus rejected them because did not uphold God’s laws and did not worship God in the way he outlined in the scriptures.

        For example, the ancient nations just mentioned believed in many triune God’s (3 gods in 1). Most Christians today also believe that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are part of a Trinity. However, the Jews believed in just one God (Deut 6:4) and Jesus upheld this belief (Mark 12:29). If Christians would read the New Testament without bias they would find hundreds of verses that show the Father(God) is greater than the Son. (John 5:19,30; 1 Cor 11:3; Rev 1:1;)

        Immortality of the soul(Ezk 18:4) and eternal torment in hell(Ecc 9:5,10) are also FALSE beliefs that are heavily influenced by Babylon, Egypt, and Greece. Christmas and Easter which were “adopted” as Christian when many Romans begin converting are littered with customs associated with festivals to Roman gods. Jesus said we should worship God in spirit and TRUTH (John 4:23) so we should stay away from customs or beliefs associated with FALSE gods.

        At John 17:3 Jesus said that knowledge of God and Jesus was essential to gain everlasting life. The first step in getting to know someone is learning their name. We know Jesus name but what is God’s name? The name of God has been removed from most bibles because the ruler of this world (1 John 5:19) wants to keep people from knowing God. The original (not the New) King James Version bible kept that name in a few places including Psalms 83:18. If you don’t have that bible you can find it easily online.

        • And the truth will set you free. You must be my brother by the way you speak. Very good reasoning and good use of the scriptures, though I feel that most of these good words will find many deaf ears and much criticism. It is true that we find this out in the field as well and are very much used to it, but we must continue since we are told and show our faith, if we do not He would make the stones speak for us. May Yahweh bless you my brother and may we enjoy paradise very soon. Now my comment about the movie. I feel the movie was a good story. I would like to believe the Animal version over the Human version even though it would seem highly unlikely that it would have been conceivable to survive 277 days with a Bengal Tiger alone on a boat. Some things that were farfetched would have been believable since delusion and mind wandering would be evident with lack of water and food. Again I think it was a good story and would conclude that this is a one time watcher of a movie. Roger.

      • How did we go from a discussion about the ending of the movie “The Life of PI”? To an anti-Christian rant. With all the other religions mentioned in the script/movie you “choose” to single out just one. You clearly have issues.

      • I disagree with your perception of great Bible knowedge. I believe you think you know but untill you fall from man’s “grace” and to your knees in shame before God your living in arrogance. There’s an old saying from WW2 that says, “Nobody loves Jesus like a sinner.”
        The Bible is God’s love letter to man. An open invitation of grace and truth to have an intimate relaionship with someone who is merciful, kind, compassionate and faithful.
        Become mentally ill, shoot yourself in the foot, or God forgive harm another and see who has the aforementioned virtues.

      • You took the verses Isaiah 13:15-18 out of context, my friend. Also, Isaiah is in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is written in a different part of time where God had a different covenant with the people than the covenant that he has now. He was more wrathful (hence the explicit killing of kids and raping women). He wasn’t saying that it will happen to everyone, He was saying it to the sinners. The New Testament tells of the Grace of God. No one is perfect and everyone has a chance to come to God because he forgives. Not here to evangelize people so I’ll stop there.

    • Thank you for your post Zipper! I had not laughed so much in a while! Have you seen a recent ad on TV about a girl with a supposedly “French model” boyfriend that she met on the Internet? It goes like this, the girl purports that something she read in the Internet is true. A voice asks her how she knows that it is true. She says she knows it’s true because she read it. The voice asks, Where? In the Internet, right? Right. Then this dumb-looking dude shows up, and she introduces him as the “French model” boyfriend that she found in the Internet. The point is this Zipper, you can’t believe everything you read just because it’s in print! Even if the print is in The Bible. The books in the bible are semi-historical, metaphorical, semi-anecdotal, semi-lecture, semi-compendium of laws or songs put together by people who could write long, long time ago. And before there was writing, people repeated stories by word of mouth. You also cannot believe everything you hear. The scientific method was invented so that we could separate plain falsehoods from that what has a chance of being true. Do you want to believe in God? Believe this: THE UNIVERSE IS GOD. And it has a consciousness. We humans are the consciousness of the universe. We are the part of the universe that has become conscious of itself and looking at itself in wonderment asks, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” And it is not a fluke. IT JUST IS, as the God in The Bible said in the book of Genesis, “I AM THAT I AM.” The universe just IS. Nobody made it. And if you want to know more about the brain, do not consult a neurosurgeon. Consult a PhD in cognition or cognitive development or cognitive psychology or artificial intelligence. There is plenty of research out there to understand who we are and what we are. There is no longer need for the God construct. You Zipper could be without it and live as good a life as otherwise if you just decided to. But you’re free to believe whatever you want as long as your beliefs do not compel you to “convert” others to your faith, or to “kill” others in order to save them, or to “punish” them because they are “infidels”. Capisce?

      • I like movies like this because it goes to you personaly and asks you “What do you believe?” As Catholic, some might consider it strange for me to agree ith the Athiest, but they are making sense. The Bible was written by men, who are naturallyflawed animals, and thus the Bible has some stuff that can be considered flawed is well, thus you shouldn’t believe everything you read or see on tv. My philosophy is this. You should always question your beliefs, because how are yo supposed to know what you truly believe in?

        • I agree with you in that we should always question our beliefs….question everything. But when your questions lead to evidence, and you decide you do believe in something(and CHOOSE a religion, as you say you have), then how can you say you truly believe in what you have chosen to be if you keep trying to find fault with it?
          To become a catholic, you must have come to the conclusion that the bible , although written by imperfect man, was also inspired by God. Thus the argument that man, with his flaws may have made mistakes , is actually an insult to the one who inspired it in his perfection.

        • thats how i see this movie.whats important is not what you believe..its not about religion in a dogmatic way..whats important is that through his own mind ,pi , made his own way through that situation and in the end had a good life. the movie makes clear from the start that its not about religious preference…its about a man’s route to make is own vision of the world…and in my opinion thats the main message in the movie…according to what you said. you cant pick a true story about pi’s survival..its just stories..u have to make like pi..and with a questioning mind.. step by step make your own view of the world.
          PS:id really like if some religious and non religious ignorants would stop telling others what to believe…thats just insecurity. u dont need a team of believers to make your view true to yourself. grow up , no matter if above u see only stars or god, or anything else, just stop the childish debate and the references to stories you ve never been part of. in my view..thats exactly what this movie is about

    • When we sleep, that is, when we are unconscious, we dream. In our dream, everything seems to be perfectly reproduced, an amazing feat, most of us cannot replicate while awake. NDEs are simply dreaming. I kind of feel like saying, come on, enough with the NDEs already, we aren’t discussing Flatliners, here.

      • Most of us cannot replicate while awake? You’ve never day-dreamed before? The crucial difference between documented accounts of NDEs and dreams is that many NDEs have given the experiencers of NDEs information that they did not possess beforehand and could not have possessed. Like people in hospitals who have an NDE where they leave their body, fly out the building and can see objects nestled against the walls, platforms or windows of the building from the outside on the 60th or 80th floors.

    • Research is created by man. Man is fallible. What do any of us know FOR SURE?

      • our own experience. Dogma and belief is unnecesary, but cool if it bridges the gap needed to have a relationship with that conscious power. I like how he is a seeker in the movie. Religions fail in arrogance when their version of the truth is the sole path to creating/sustaining a relationship with that power

      • our own experience. Dogma and belief is unnecesary, but cool if it bridges the gap needed to have a relationship with that conscious power. I like how he is a seeker in the movie. Religions fail in arrogance when their version of the truth is the sole path to creating/sustaining a relationship with that power

      • We know some things with reasonable certainty, that’s all. But those things that we know keep expanding. That’s the history of humanity. For instance, we know with extreme certainty that everything that is alive, will die. Nevertheless, we, Agnostics, believe that the ultimate truth, the ultimate reality, call it God or whatever else you wish to call it, is UNKNOWN and UNKNOWABLE. IF there is a god, nobody has ever known it, and nobody will ever know it, not in this life and not in an afterlife (which NOBODY has ever known to actually exist, and which nobody will ever know if it exists).

    • The movie is a direct reply to this comment. The movie doesn’t force you to believe in 1 story over the other, it’s up to the person. Religion is the same way, and if God does exist, I believe he would want it that way. He doesn’t force anyone to believe in him or his stories, it’s up to the person.

      I also hear hundreds of people tell the same stories about being abducted by aliens. Either everything is real or everyone has the same delusions.

    • These out of body experiences seem particularly bad evidence. These people are suffering brain injuries and insults at the time of the “evperience of heaven.”

      Scienctists have recreated they in part in a lab in Sweden. Parkenson patients and migrane sufferes also have similar halucinations.

      So what is more likely. A brain dead guy when to heaven and back or he hallucinated as his cerebral cortx was revivified?

      The rational man has a clear answer. The person who needs a crutch has another.

    • Religion is based on the experience of others.
      Spirituality is a journey based on your own. (Not sure who said that, but I love it.)I will not base my beliefs on a book by a neurosurgeon who forsakes science for his own agenda anymore than I will base them on a book written by ancient men with an agenda.

      • Well said. Simply fantastic. I think the movie & book seeks to invoke thought. To challenge the viewer/reader to think for themselves. I am sadden but not surprised at much of what I have read on this site. Most of which is argumentative rhetoric that is intended to force upon another ones own belief. This has been been the cause of great divide, rather than unity, throughout all history. Pi chose to explore, to see, to feel, and chose to let others choose without judging them on their choice. What a beautiful thing!

        For those who must know, I do not claim any religion. I do not consider myself to be an atheist nor agnostic. Label me as you choose. It is your choice. I believe there are things we can’t explain, but do not dismiss them. I also seek scientific evidence for that which cannot be explained.

  7. One last thing I didn’t mention is Hell, This place also exists and it’s place you truly don’t want to end up in, A total disconnection from God and absolutely terrifying, Just read up about people who have gone there and the complete turn around in what they do with their lives, I’ve read wealthy people who have come back and sold everything to live in a one bedroom flat, Then totally devoting themselves to God, criminals coming back and becoming born again Christians, one thing that surprised me is the amount of people who have tried to commit suicide that have had a taste of this place, and believe me, they won’t try it again. I’ve done alot of reading on NDEs and if you think God is a joke then you must have some serious cahoonas on you if that’s where you want to go..

    • I’m sure you mean well but are you really so ignorant as to believe in fictional fairy tales like Santa Claus, God, or the Tooth Fairy? These are stories made up by people, an evident fact if you bothered to spend some time thinking about it and doing research. The God stories are not even consistent (even the Christian ones are not consistent) and are clearly made up. Where is the evidence for your God? Of course there is none other than your need for a simple explanation, but even as simple explanations go it fails. If the universe needs a creator to explain how it came into being then God would need a creator as well. So, who created God? Even you know that it was people who created God as a fictional character to star in an inconsistent set of ‘holy books.’ I do feel sorry for you, but unfortunately for all of us your religion has caused countless suffering for many while providing misguided comfort only to those desperate for a fairy tale explanation to make their little lives make sense.

      Yours truly,

      James Bond

      • You just can’t go around telling people that what they believe in is right or wrong. It’s just not the thing to do. People have many beliefs, you have the belief that we come from Homo erectus’s, and then there is another humans belief that a God created us all. I, in theological beliefs, believe that there is a huge possibility that, perhaps, God created evolution. Don’t get me wrong, maybe I’m correct or maybe I’m not, but that is what I believe and I don’t think your bogus comment is going to change Zippers’ notion that God created us all within six days. And comparing God to Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy is completely overrated than anything I have ever heard or read in atheist say, for there is much more proof of a living God. Even Darwin himself believed in a Higher Power.

        • W. Banner, very well said. Thank you.

      • james is rite it is what it is when u r gone, u r gone, like all other creatures, just follow the golden rule, do unto others and u will b all rite tom

      • Now you are just making yourself look bad. Stooping to name calling is very telling.

    • you have read of people going to hell? please give me a book, or so or some kinda reference…cuz i know books that prove demons are real and they will scare you off the internet. hit me up at “callmetej at gmail.com” and let me know your references bro.

  8. Regarding the movie Life of Pi, the visual effects of this movie are spectacular. The ending raises serious theological questions about God, what is truth, why do evil and tragedy happen, what is our purpose here. The movie shows quite well several spiritual and theological dilemmas that many people have:

    • the dilemma of there being signs (the beauty of creation, apparent miracles) of God’s existence and love versus there being a god that allows evil and tragedy in the world;
    • the dilemma in trying to explain why – if God exists – God allows evil and tragedy;

    These dilemmas exist for people who do not know of the premortal existence of all people, and of God’s purpose in sending us here: to be tested in the battle of good versus evil, to be tested in all adversities, and to have the opportunity to become more godlike in our nature and one day be with our Heavenly Father again.

    If we understand that we had a premortal existence with Heavenly Father, and if we understand that the purpose of life is to be tested in the battle of good versus evil, to be tested in all adversities, and to have the opportunity to become more godlike in our nature and one day be with our Heavenly Father – if we understand all this – there are no dilemmas.

    • Science will answer all questions, in time, if we don’t destroy humanity along the way. This description of God reminds me of my cat. Capturing a mouse, and playing with it. It makes no sense to make humans, just to watch them and see if they, ” Do the right thing “. An omnipotent god has no need to conduct experiments, he knows the outcome. This is the philosophy of Deism, which states, god neither needs, nor wants your approval. Which I also don’t believe, but find an evolving effort to finally make sense of our universe. Saying the universe is too vast to have “just occurred” is a typical response that allows the believer to avoid the hard work of seeking the truth.

      • The bible was also created by man. Men in particular, no women allowed.
        Yes, science is fallible, however, the car you drive, the computer you use exist because of science, many stumbles along the way to making computers, air planes, etc, it is called the scientific method, because it rules out truth from opinion through thorough testing. This method has worked well for a long time. Witness the cure for so many diseases. Etc.

        • According to Webster’s Dictionary, and everyone I have ever met, eternal actually means exactly “forever”

          e·ter·nal
          /iˈtərnl/
          Adjective

          Lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
          (of truths, values, or questions) Valid for all time; essentially unchanging.

          Synonyms
          everlasting – perpetual – timeless – undying – perennial

        • @Lanny: Um bro, God didn’t put us on Earth to test us. He created mankind to have a rewarding relationship with beings that possessed the free will to decide to love him back. We, the species, fell for Satan’s trap and brought evil into our own lives. And because God allows us the freedom of choice, and people choose to do evil or good – there is evil and good in the world. We may not have control over each other (especially fellow adults), but we have control over how we receive kindness from others and blessings from God. How we deal with hurt from others and attacks by demonic forces. People often expect peaches and sunshine when the sign-up for the God squad, but the Lord clearly states that once you have reconnected with him, Satan’s attacks are more consistent and grander. What he promises is his grace and power in your life now, an eternal spiritual life in Heaven for the faithful, and the Truth available for anyone that’s looking. And yes there are times when God refines us through lessons and even destruction.

          @Rick: Great, we have computers that make it easier to converse with more people, store data, etc. We have cars that comfortably and quickly get us places. But both are pointless and disappear without the people to use and build them. People made of flesh not mechanical parts. People that run on air and organic internal systems not harnessed electricity or processed petroleum.

          Science is simply the study of the already creatd material world and the manipulation of properties. It has many categories – each of which presents a compilation of accepted theories that enough “experts” have voted/agreed upon based on the limited information they have access to, in this enormous universe, that they use as a reference. So, essentially science, being many people’s sole belief for the purpose of an explanation, is a man made religion. It’s just not a deity driven religion; until you count the vast trust the masses have in the collective power of human intelligence.

          • I should say currently accepted theories, as what we consider fact through scientific method changes frequently. A lot of it has to do with the popularity of a scientist and whether or not they are part of the club.

            Seeking the truth is hard work, but following the truth once you’ve found it is even harder.

    • I agree the story raises questions such as why are we here , why do some live and others die , why do we have love and compassion and of course hate , what is the nature of God [ if one exists? }, is God in our imaginations/ hearts or does he lie elsewhere. What leaps out at me is this...our natural but unacceptable instincts are there but they are caged like animals in a zoo. We are taught to be fearful of them and lock them away. Our society relying on technology as it does enables us to do this - we are secure or believe we are and this we don't need to think much about who and what we really are [or are capable of in terms of motivations, eg hunger, anger , disgust and altruism] The Japanese ship represents this technological world , place of APPARENT safety on the ocean of the deep that which we cant see or easily understand [The universe the never ending God?]…when it sinks the survivors are forced to see the reality of who they are [ good and bad]. this experience could be real or an NDE either way they are so different from the reality of we are used to[ or conditioned to ] they seem dreamlike . At the end he returns to land and some sort of security – at first local tribes with limited technology but love and later a more westernised form of hospitality. both provide care and security which wasn’t available in the lifeboat where the occupants are confronted with the essence of life and how to survive [ or die]. What interesting to me is we are asked to chose between the two versions of the story – the factual scientific one or the dreamlike image allegorical one?. Neither provides an answer as to WHY the events happened pr PI survives or WHY we exist. What is interesting to me is that of the two stories the technological version is somewhat sterile and lacks any sense of trying to explain what goes on beneath the surface …of our minds or in our psyche [ or souls] .The story with the animals is full of imagery and possible psychological/ spiritual meaning and potential. I know which I prefer – the latter.

  9. Science will not one day get us to the answer. remember Jung and the tension of opposites. Poetry may come as close as science. Read Wordsworth. Poetry will always exist as long as there is a mystery that science can not explain. There is always the eternal question. Remember that eternal does not mean forever; it means beyond time.

  10. I saw another element to the ending… from my background in psychology. It is very common for someone in highly stressful situations or crises to ‘disassociate’ in order to cope with what they are going through. This involves a detachment from reality. It is very possible that Pi had a dissociation identity disorder; this may account for him taking the identity of the tiger when he needed to act in ways that were foreign to him (killing, eating flesh/fish). Many of the scenes in the boat would then show the inner struggles he felt as he had to wrestle with his two identities and learn to accept Richard Parker as a part of himself. The ‘story’ he came to accept was actually his disassociation and it was the only thing that kept him alive all of those days alone.
    We see these types of experiences manifested in severly traumatic events… such as rapes, childhood abuse, and even in prisoners of war.

    • Excellent! Yours is probably the best commentary that I’ve read. Very good interpretation. I think this is the most logical explanation. Thank you!

    • This is what I saw as well! It was heartily debated in the household. I was the only one who took this route as well as the bound in faith take.

    • I agree. The story could suggest the psychological idea of splitting and of repression of unacceptable impulses. Under stress such as the sinking of the ship [ security/ mother/womb] the fear and trauma could result in repressed feelings may come to surface causing splitting…. [ the Tiger / PI being opposites of the same whole ]. But obviously this is only ONE aspect of the meaning of the story

  11. A fascinating achievement in both novel and film. Although we are very quickly set up to be “on alert” for an insight about the existence of God per se, I’m not sure this is exactly the quest. My sense is that the author intends to show that it is part of our makeup – Pi’s nature – to fashion a fantastical story following such a brutally-savage lived experience dredging up our almost-forgotten, visceral, survival instincts. Cannibalism has been experienced by people of our time who considered themselves the most cultured and civilized the world has known. As we look down through time, even to our primordial past, human kind has attempted to climb out of ignorance to make sense of our lives on the planet within a largely unknowable universe. We continue to look inward and outward with awe and wonder as we frame and reconstruct what we live. It is only relatively recently that we have books and now film, etc. to help us think and imagine beyond our personal experience. As Pi re-frames the story of his actual survival, he makes us aware of how the myths, tales, fables, mythologies we cherish come to be. Those are the stories that give insight into what we are and how we are as we lean forward. As Pi weeps at Richard Parker not looking back, we understand that he will never need or experience the purity of that element of himself again. He will struggle with it lying there just beneath the surface of his civilized self. As Pi stretches heavenward screaming into the wind and rainswept ocean skies, we know he will unlikely feel the bliss of his higher self as dramatically again in his ordinary life. In my opinion, the author is telling us that this is what we do with our lives. Our greatest reflections, those that mirror best, those that capture the most elemental features of our human nature, become the icons with which we navigate our lives – from tall tales to religion. It even goes that way with religion.

  12. Question – You mention Pi marries the girl of his dreams. Are you saying that the woman he married was Anandi? I didn’t think it was. Did I miss a mention of it in the film, or is this from the book?

  13. READ JAMES BOND

  14. “So it is with God…” People have a choice. To believe in that which “mankind” cannot touch, see or feel, or to believe in that which we can “prove”. To believe in God, one must accept proof is not necessary. It is a choice. Do you believe in the eternal, or only just moments in the face of time?

    • Actually, you cannot prove any of the two stories. And to put both stories in perspective, you can touch a tiger (if it doesn’t kill you first) just as well as you can touch a cook because they are both made of flesh. Why would having a tiger in you boat instead of a cook would make you believe in God? Are you trying to say that if you have a tiger in your boat and it doesn’t kill you it is enough “proof” that God exists? GIVE ME A BREAK, PLEASE! I think that if your friend came up with such a story you would ask him, “What did you smoke?” And what is “the eternal”, anyway? We don’t have the capacity to comprehend such a concept. Eternal means that in the temporal dimension it has no beginning and no end. What in our human experience do we know to be able to begin to comprehend such a concept? Besides, we are beginning to redefine our concept of time. With Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, we have had to abandon our idea that time was fixed and objective. And we are accumulating evidence to support his predictions. So I ask again, what is “the eternal”?

  15. I think it is very interesting how Pi asks the writer at the end which story he “prefers” and not which story he “believes”. Pi then thanks him for choosing the Tiger story as it leaves him with comfort shielded from his reality and some redemption/dignity from the animalistic cannibalism and killing that took place. Pi is also a skeptic, but chooses to believe in God as it brings him comfort even though it is not real. That is also why he believes in no particular religion.

    • Finally, someone that gets it.

      “So it is with God” is the most important line of the movie. It IS the whole movie. The fact that it doesn’t show up in this article until you’re 75% of the way through it shows just how off it is.

  16. After watching the movie and reading the posts, I have seen alot of great intro speculations or piecing apart the movie if you wanna call it that. One thing I noticed and havent seen in any of the posts (of course I only read a few hundred of the posts cause in no way am i going to read around 1200 comments.) were the 3 beliefs. I seen a part when Frank said someting about there being 3 people and speaking about how the father taught about reality , or instinct. In the beliefs there was islam, hinduism, and christianity. The father pushed for there to study the facts and sciences and to pick one religion where the mother said to let him find his path. In the boat there were three other people other than himself. He let each other do what they did, untill he had to take the initiative to finish it. As his father said about reason, Pi said that the cook was reliable as to burn the raft for fish/food. The japanese guy kept on talking about rice and gravy, and the mother was always attacking the cook, accusing him, and protecting Pi. The cook was the hyena who lived off of instinct. No 2nd thoughts or communication. Just the need to survive. The japanese sailor was a zebra. Not as vicious as the hyena. And the orangutan was the mother. Slapping the hyena when ever it came toward Pi. Even during the part in the ship when the cook explains about what he does and feeds people. There is alot of insight with not caring the difference of food,and specifics, but food. Also as when the cook eats the rat. Back to the 3 religions, 3 accompany on the boat, and a final path. As though Pi had to pick a path as his father said before. He cannot follow multiple religions at the same time. Now this is my perspective and just finished so I havent had a few days to think alot of it over. But would like to hear other opinions and perspectives that may have seen something I haven’t or remembered something that may show a greater light on something.

  17. I have a very different interpretation of the ending from just about everyone else I know and every review I have read. Pi lost his faith in God due to the tragedy he experienced and realized he needed to use the tools of religion to give his mind comfort. Religion gives comfort to those who cannot accept the grim reality of human depravity, our monstrous place in the animal kingdom and the meaningless finality of death. The metaphorical fable he created to deal with that reality is his manifestation of “god” — a false escape from reality. He must believe in it or face the grim madness of who we are. When everyone, even the very logical investigators, accept the fantasy he creates it is symbolic of the vast majority of humans preferring a “pleasant”?(not in my opinion) lie to the brutal truth.

  18. I just saw the film, and I just want to write my thoughts here, not because I think they’re right, but because writing them out helps me understand my own thoughts better and so that I can see where my thoughts are incomplete. So please just bear with me. They might just be the ramblings of a madman. Then again…

    The movie left me on the verge of tears, because I felt that it hit on some unspeakable truth that can only be felt, not said. Nevertheless, I will try to say some of it. It seemed like a journey through the cosmos, an imaginary/allegorical glimpse into what we in the Muslim faith of Islam call “al-ghaib,” or “The Unseen.” What this refers to is the unknowable knowledge of God and the overwhelming majority of Creation that is beyond the scope of human understanding. Now you know a little of where I’m coming from so hopefully this will make a little more sense.

    The way I see it, Pi’s two separate stories at the end are a way to explain that, while we all have different religions, they all point to the same God. They’re all stories, with differences here and missing details there, but they’re all the SAME STORY. Both of Pi’s stories were the same story, but told in different ways and one in a way that the Japanese investigators (symbolic of humanity with its need for religions?) could “understand.” You know, “the Truth.” The same way, religions all tell the same story of humanity’s relationship with God.

    Pi experienced something that he knew was true, his Ultimate Truth, but he had to filter that truth into a drink that his audience could swallow. This is what I really connected with. In a similar way, God is the Ultimate Truth. But he can’t explain the Unseen to us because it simply would not compute in our minds (can you understand the nature of the 4th or even 5th dimension? Try to visualize a 4 dimensional tesseract, not the 3 dimensional rendering of it. You can’t.) Therefore, he gives us religion, so that we may understand Him in a way that will make sense to us. Different peoples were given different religions so that humanity could comprehend his Ultimate Truth in a way that would make sense to their minds. Nevertheless, if we were ever to be told the Ultimate Truth, we would definitely prefer that to the less-than-perfect “religions” that we must make do with while we are alive and are constrained to the limits of being 3 dimensional humans (maybe we are finally exposed to “The Unseen” when we die as we shed our material existence and become a part of those higher dimensions or whatever that were once incomprehensible to us).
    Pi says in the thunderstorm scene “Praise be to God! The Lord of All Worlds! The Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!” which are the first 3 lines of the opening chapter in the Quran, titled Al-Fatiha (The Opening, not just as in the introduction of a book, but also in the active sense as in the opening of a gate, with a key. Arabic for key = Miftah). So maybe Lord of the Worlds where worlds = dimensions/planes of existence? That is pure conjecture, just something to think about, I have nothing to back it up.

    However, I think an important point this raises is that God is beyond all religions. Religions are for humans, while God is Greater (or Allah hu Akbar) than anything we can ascribe to him. We need the religions to describe God, but the Truth of what God is lies beyond our attempts to describe Him. Many of the problems in the Muslim world arise because Muslims forget to worship God and instead worship religion, Islam, which ironically, is forbidden in Islam haha.

    Please feel free to reply to this, I would love to hear some thoughts on my thoughts. Like I said. Ramblings of a madman.

    • Finally… I fully understand it now… I was hesitant to believe and maybe just needed someone who will be able to explain it…

      I was really confused why are there so many religions, and you just explained it… There’s no other way to point out why so I’d stick to your explanation.

      And, I was so worried with my muslim friend because she just totally believe in their own religion, and geez… thank you, now I can understand why… maybe I was worried because they embraced worshiping the religion and not God.

      And one thing, I was also like Pi,before becoming a Christian, I questioned about God’s existence and is open-minded about other teachings so I can think and realize which is believable or not…well, I ask for a sign, it might not be miraculous, but if you will realize it, you will know it is what you asked (the sign which was not literally what you asked for).

      Thanks for reading…

      Heaven and Hell truly exist.

      • Thanks for that reply! I’m glad my rambling made sense to at least someone. I think the important thing to understand is that God needs no intermediary to connect with you, since He’s beyond all limitation. You just have to be absolutely honest and sincere when you ask Him for guidance, and just like with Pi he’ll guide you to whatever is best for you in ways you never would have thought. For people having trouble with which religion to choose, I would say ask God, sincerely and open-heartedly, and He’ll point you to which one He considers closest to the Truth.

        Also, I think with my fellow Muslims, people tend to get caught up in the details of religion, and forget about how the religion is supposed to bring you closer to God. Only after becoming closer to God does it make sense to worry about the details (only for yourself, and not to be imposing those details on those who haven’t attained the same closeness to God as you hopefully have). Islam is beautiful to me because it is so intensely focused on building a close relationship with God, I just wish my fellow Muslims could see this aspect of it.

    • Good morning “A Muslim”
      I just read your letter and found it very honest. I am a Christian woman who believes that Jesus died for me because He loves me so much. I agree with you that in our three dimensional existence we will never understand fully the greatness of God. We have to believe like a child, unconditional. Jesus came as a human that we as humans, could understand, could be shown the way. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:4) God Bless you.

      • Thank you for your reply, and for the prayer of blessings. I greatly appreciate it and I ask that God give the same and more to you :)

    • Excuse me; but we do not all worship the same God.

      • If you say so.

        I worship the Creator of the universe. If you were an Arab Christian you would call him Allah, (meaning The God). What, may I ask, do you worship?

  19. As a few others in their comments have said, this movie has a connection to the “Wizard of Oz”. I agree. In the “Wizard of Oz”, the characters are metaphors for the need for Courage (Lion), Intelligence (Scarecrow) and Heart (Tin Man) to overcome the fears of life represented by the (Witch). The point of the story is that we all have what we need to face reality. We just need to believe in ourselves and move forward with self-confidence. If we do, and we are just, our fears will melt as the Witch did when Dorothy stood up to her and took decisive action to save her friend the Scarecrow. The fact that the whole story took place in a dream is not important to the lesson being taught.

    In my opinion the animals and other unnatural phenomena in the “Life of Pi” are also metaphors for the positive and negative aspects of life that must be dealt with to survive. The whole point of a metaphor is that it represents different things to different people. Pi explains his connection to the metaphors when he tells the Human story, but he does not expect your connection to the metaphors to be the same.

    To insist that others should have the exact same problems and the exact same solutions as you do is the height of arrogance. If you have all of the exactly correct solutions to everyone’s problems then I can’t believe you are wasting your time on this website when you should be out fixing the world.

    As a general rule religious people tend to be hypocritical because they admit that they don’t have all the answers but they know someone that does, and they also KNOW that all of your problems will either disappear or you will realize that they are not important if you just believe this or that. I call these “Mother May I” religions because they remind me of the game played by children where they have to say “Mother May I” before every action. If you think the creator of billions upon billions of galaxies each containing billons of stars, and untold numbers of planets, is sitting around all sad waiting on you to say “Mother May I”, you are deluded.

    God is a metaphor for the magical solution to all of your problems. Everyone has exactly as much religion as they need. Therefore, everyone’s God is slightly different. The reason that religions forbid you to question God is because if you did you would realize that the other people in your own church are worshiping a slightly different God than you are. Everyone’s God is of their own making tailored to their own needs.

    The final irony to me is that each religious person believes that they were so lucky to be born into the one true religion and they feel so sorry for everyone born into one of the other untrue religions. They feel that it is only right that they should be rewarded with everlasting joy for unquestionably believing what they were taught and that it is also only right the people that were born into a different religion and are just doing the same thing that they are doing (unquestionably believing) deserve everlasting damnation.

    How is it possible that a caring God that wants to be loved and worshiped would allow such a system to exist? The main claim to fame for every major religion on earth is the number of people they have killed from other religions. I do not know if there is a God, but I know that if there is, he/she/it is not represented by any religion on this planet. As for me, I will stick with the metaphors that make sense.

  20. I tend to read the Life of Pi with the third reading. The stories are entwined and in a sense the film itself reflects John Lennon’s wonderful quote, “God is a concept, by which we measure our pain.” The film eludes that the animals that are on board the boat each directly relate to a person that is murdered. Leaving the audience to wonder if the Bengal Tiger represents the murderous cook. I believe the tiger is the animal instinct of PI that surfaces in order to survive. When they land on shore Tiger and Man once again separate leaving Pi the man to civilization. In order to survive the nature that provides a cannibalistic island (perhaps the cook)…Pi must work from instinct.

    • Really interesting reading! At the end, when the writer pieces together both of pi’s stories and says “And the tiger was you,” I felt that was definitely pointing to some deeper or metaphorical connection between animals and humanity.

  21. I often ponder our existence …… Why some people live in comfort with all life has to offer and others live in poverty and horror ( neglect , abuse, rape, drugs there are so many forms )…….. Signs……? Or coincidence …..? Pi was a kind boy who was a believer in some kind of god……he watched in horror how the cook survived ( murder, cannabillism, brute force like an animal ) perhaps killing his mother was the last straw……? Perhaps he killed the cook to rid the boat of evil more so than to just survive……To give him peace .. How long could people last on a boat in the same situation before the animal instincts kicked in…….how could you tell who would be the hyena and who would be the tiger….? In a gods world would it be better if all died but kept their faith and good standings with god ? Let the lord deal with the cook ? Why did Pi kill only after his mother was killed ? It was when the murder affecting him on a personal level…..(true even with the orangutan) enough is enough I guess… In hide sight to rid the boat of evil first would have been a better choice ..In life we seldom are put in situations to determine who is the hyena ……but if given the chance we should rid our lives of them as early as possible….maybe that’s the message,,,,, god is in yourself …. Good or evil… Crooked or honest…… Your own version….. as you are the only one in your head……..who do you want to be…..?

  22. A good teacher stimulates thought and provokes discussion. In this way, “Life of Pi” engages us.
    It’s a cerebral film. The problem is that a great many folks wanted (and expected ) to be entertained… not mystified, intrigued, or force-fed some sort of lesson in theology. After all, this movie was marketed to the masses. In fact, I just noticed the cover of my DVD says…“The Next Avatar”. Not long ago I saw that, worldwide, the film grossed over 607 million. I think its safe to say, many movie goers were misled.
    Most of us were not prepared for the reality-pie-in-the-face; where suddenly we’re asked to interpret and become part of the film… suddenly your only recourse is rewinding the events, and rethinking the last 2 hours we just invested. This movie almost requires a 2nd viewing.
    The answer is a question.
    We humans, with our outer brain lobes, are capable of rational thought, and we’re the one critter on this planet that is acutely aware of our inevitable fate; foreknowledge of our impending demise. Animals have fight or flight, as do we, but ultimately we KNOW we can NEVER escape death!
    We’ve created a pillowy-soft-heaven-place to cushion this knowledge. Our common denominator is our fear of death, so “Everlasting Life” sure sounds appealing!! This is where all religions seem to intersect…. some sort of life….AFTER death. As long as certain criterion are met, some part of you will LIVE on. All we gotta do is…..BELIEVE something we cannot. Does the all-powerful supreme being really need my constant reassurance of my belief loyalty devotion? Does he need me to fear his wrath? Well you want to live forever right?? So get busy believing! So begins the endless tail chase of belief and blind faith.
    True love does not have conditions . True fathers don’t turn their backs on their misguided children. “The word of god” is an oxymoron because he is THE EPITOME OF SILENCE. Lets face it, what we believe is beyond our control. I have no control of my beliefs…my doubts are automatic ….things like trust and belief …are simply, not matters of choice. We can’t force ourselves to believe in god…or Santa Claus…no matter how hard we try. Asking someone to believe something they can’t is unfair. It immediately creates shame, fear,guilt…. We can act like we believe in god…we can chant it over and over, celebrate it …we can brainwash ourselves….perhaps if we hear it enough times… and start teaching it at a younger age…..perhaps if we “spread the word” to others we can somehow convince ourselves…
    Personally, I can’t “believe” in god……I can only hope for one. I have faith in friendship and brotherhood and love. I have faith in mankind and in myself. I think this may be the only life we get…. its so precious and fragile….not just mine, but yours….everyone’s….

  23. Don’t tell people what they should believe in, and making someone appear ignorant or less educated or a lower being for what they believe is just plain wrong. I’m a Christian and just for once I’d like one person to prove to me that god does not exist. Instead of trying to make me feel like an idiot show me how I am wrong. Prove beyond a shadow of a doubt god does not exist.

    • You religious types keep getting it wrong. It’s not up to the unbelievers to prove God doesn’t exist. The burden of proof is on the person who says something exists. If it were the other way around, we’d all be wasting our time proving that fire-breathing dragons, elves, fairies and monsters under our beds do not exist.

      If you insist on making a fantastic claim, it’s your job to prove that claim. It’s not everyone else’s job to prove you wrong–that’s just a waste of time.

      Having said that, there are mountains of evidence suggesting that human existence is just an evolutionary accident, but absolutely no hard evidence that a spiritual dude or dudess exists in the sky and actually cares about each and every one of the billions of humans on this earth. Open your eyes and use your evolutionary miracle of that organ we call a brain.

  24. Great post! I really enjoyed this movie…and as a Christian it really made me think. I blogged my thoughts about it here: http://www.theministryrookie.com/2013/02/25/does-the-life-of-pi-prove-the-existence-of-god/

  25. I agree its all just fairy tales. Let me explain logically.
    Human INVENTED god in the very beginning when he was in the stone age as a cave man because he couldn’t explain many things around him logically and rationally. when he saw lightening in the sky, he immediately invented god for causing this to quench his otherwise unsatisfiable curiosity. When he saw sun, he invented another god for causing this. This way he invented several hundreds of gods just to explain the unexplainable at that time. But as time passed and human thinking became more and more rational, he began to come up with logical and scientific reasons for things around him that made more sense, hence his dependency on gods decreased causing a significant drop in number of gods. Now we are down to one or no gods. Do you see a pattern here? I do. With increasing rationality, the number of gods decrease and mathematically this can be expressed as rationality is inversely proportional to no of gods hence absolute rationality means zero gods. But since achieving absoluteness in anything including rationality is very difficult and require atleast some in built IQ, people are always remained with some small probability of god in their minds. But if a persons mind becomes absolute in rationality he would always find ANY religion absurd. BTW I was a devout muslim a few years back that was until I chose to open the parachute of my mind to actually know myself. People would say I must have lost the purpose of my life but infact Now I have even a stronger purpose of life than before because now I know that what I do will make a difference with humanity and not waste my time thinking about hereafter as there isn’t gonna be any. Good luck.

    • FA, I have been to the other side and back. There will be many surprised people about what exists for us after death. Imagine the most joy you have ever experienced times infinity. No white robes or guy with a beard and no religion. Just the best of our essence magnified to the glory of our Creator. There are no rejects, as the Creator makes perfection in our soul and then we decide how to show that to this World. Many religions but all really for the glory of one Creator. If we waste our time beimg self centered then we have wasted the chance to be all we could have been. Sharing your love with all people is the best way you have to spread the message of our Creator. Blessed are you.

  26. Amazing. This book/movie was truly just stunning. I don’t believe you can watch this and not believe in SOMETHING. I loved this movie, and after watching it I felt my confusing, wobbly faith firm into a solid wall. I recommend it to everyone.

  27. Great comment Donald!

    Maybe we’re not supposed to take the bible so literal. We all possess the power to create and destroy. We all strive alone and together, but nobody knows the answers to the big questions. The burden of proof exists for believers and non-believers alike. The way I see it, its ok to not know. Leave the file open…

    Perhaps were all standing before the great and powerful OZ. You don’t see the man behind the curtain? I can only pretend not to notice him.

  28. Indeed this movie contains so much meaning and literature, which requires deeper thought and analysis to understand. What I perceive through this, is that only when humans are reduced to wild animals, we become apathetic or less sympathetic. Why? Because as the movie said: “the tiger is not your friend”, unlike we behave towards any human – be it the sailor, the cook, your mom.

  29. this was one of the worst, stupidest movies i have ever seen.

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