‘Life of Pi’ Ending Explained

Published 2 years 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. Pi is a young boy who is always seeking. The first time he saw Richard Parker devour the lamb, his life changed, he was shocked – life became monotonous and sad without meaning. Pi then goes through the horrific ship wreck and he is on
    the life boat. Richard Parker (the tiger) does not show up until needed, when his mom is killed by the cook. The tiger can no longer remain silent.
    The Tiger was somehow hidden under the canvasse of the life boat, and this is not possible. All on the life boat would have known the Tiger was there.
    Pi, reveals the Tiger in himself, he was capable of killing and even eating that which was killed. Under the canvasse Pi sees Richard Parker eating and protecting his kill -this was Pi himself. The evil of the cook brought out the evil in Pi (as Pi himself said at the end). Richard Parker (the evil in Pi) dissapeared when no longer needed. The ruthlessness of the Tiger was just, as a younger boy Pi could not see. In the end, he became it….and that is precisely how he survived. The Tiger is needed, for if God is just, what does the cook deserve? Pi could not be what was needed, even demanded of God, yet Richard Parker could. The affair was so disgusting Pi could not stay in the same boat with the Tiger (himself) that saved his life. He could not live on the boat where he executed the atrocities (a vegetarian boy) eating human flesh. God was in the Tiger as God is in the Lamb.

  2. I have enjoyed reading all the comments here and seeing other people’s views of the symbolism.

    My first impression was that the tiger represented Pi’s inner self, his animal nature, his survival instinct. Humans have greater intelligence than animals, but once you strip away our cultural backgrounds, education, and higher learning, this is what you are left with. Its a side of ourselves most of us never have to face.

    Pi’s vegetarianism was one of the themes of the movie. It seems he had never eaten meat due to spiritual and personal beliefs. Yet to survive on the boat, fish became his only source of food. He cried the first time he killed a fish. It was clearly a great struggle for him. But he had to “feed the tiger”, an animal who is not only “carnivorous” but an obligate carnivore since tigers are not capable of digesting any plant material. Therefore, it is not morally wrong to feed one meat. This is how he justified his own meat eating.

  3. I have enjoyed reading all the comments here and seeing other people’s views of the symbolism.

    My first impression was that the tiger represented Pi’s inner self, his animal nature, his survival instinct. Humans have greater intelligence than animals, but once you strip away our cultural backgrounds, education, and higher learning, this is what you are left with. Its a side of ourselves most of us never have to face.

    Pi’s vegetarianism was one of the themes of the movie. It seems he had never eaten meat due to spiritual and personal beliefs. Yet to survive on the boat, fish became his only source of food. He cried the first time he killed a fish. It was clearly a great struggle for him. But he had to “feed the tiger”, an animal who is not only “carnivorous” but an obligate carnivore since tigers are not capable of digesting any plant material. Therefore, it is not morally wrong to feed one meat. This is how he justified his own need for meat.

  4. My first impression was that the tiger represented Pi’s inner self, his animal nature, his survival instinct. Humans have greater intelligence than animals, but once you strip away our cultural backgrounds, education, and higher learning, this is what you are left with. Its a side of ourselves most of us never have to face.

    Pi’s vegetarianism was one of the themes of the movie. It seems he had never eaten meat due to spiritual and personal beliefs. Yet to survive on the boat, fish became his only source of food. He cried the first time he killed a fish. It was clearly a great struggle for him. But he had to “feed the tiger”, an animal who is not only “carnivorous” but an obligate carnivore since tigers are not capable of digesting any plant material. Therefore, it is not morally wrong to feed one meat. This is how he justified his own need for meat.

  5. I would Prefer to believe the first story, but I feel the second is the truth. The first is what his mind did as a coping mechanism to get through the horrific events that happened.

    If you go with the Second Story, it goes a bit like this…

    The first person on the boat was the Despicable Cook (Hyena). The Japanese Sailor (Zebra) falls onto the life boat as it is being lowered and breaks his leg. Pi also makes it on board. While being tossed around, Pi’s Mother is seen floating on debris (bananas). They pull her on board to “Safety”. After the storm is over and all seems calm, Pi wakes up to see the Cook Murder the Japanese Sailor and being hungry and food being gone, starts to eat the Sailor. The Cook then attacks Pi’s Mother (Orangutan) and gets slapped. The Cook backs off but then attacks and kills her.

    Pi being so distraught, lashes out and kills the Cook. Due to the Mental Trauma, Pi shifts this action into the form of a Tiger to deal with the horror and in his mind the others had become other animals from the zoo.

    Ok… Pi is a Vegetarian… He witnesses the cook eating the sailor and killing his mother. Pi (in his mind) becomes the tiger from his lesson as a child. After killing the cook, Pi is then stranded, by himself with No food after the storm and not much water… The tiger Eats the dead “animals”, which means, Pi had to eat human flesh to survive… As if the earlier events were not traumatic enough… The island in the movie appears as a silhouette of a Human figure as the boat leaves. Pi, in his desperation to cling to life, Himself, became Carnivorous…. Pi IS the Island… At night, Pi would “Scare Himself” (the tiger running back to the boat ) and ended up EATING the remainder of the bodies on the life boat…

    When Pi catches his first large fish under the raft, he wrestles with it and then when subdued, he beats it with a hammer. After killing the “fish”, Pi looks up and emotionally Cries Out “Forgive Me!!!! Forgive Me!!” I feel that the fish represents Pi’s first Reality Check after the Horror. I believe that when he saw the cook kill his mother, he jumped the cook with a net and killed him with a hammer (but having shifting that to the Tiger) Pi’s transferred the cook from the Hyena to the fish, when reality started to come. Ok I am confusing myself…

    I know Pi explored multiple religions in the movie and At this point, I am just going to give ideas from a Christian perspective…

    At this point Pi had realized that he killed, looking into the almost human eye of the large fish. He cried out for Forgiveness, possibly repenting from the sin.

    From that turning point, he then has to come to terms with what he had done, or “Tame” his tiger, or the pain and trauma and unforgiveness of Himself. When he and the tiger are about to die, he finally is able to touch the tiger, or forgive himself for what he asked God to forgive him for (murder and canibalism). When he lands in Mexico and the tiger does not say goodbye, I feel that he is letting go of the pain and trauma and starting his life with a “Clean Slate” as if Rebourn, and free of the “chains” that traumatized him.

    Hey, just my opinion, but this Beautiful Fantasy, became a Psychological Thriller!

  6. The interesting part was also he found teeth in a lotus. That also symbolizes Buddhism and how the girlfriend was making lotus while dancing.

    • did anyone catch what the priest said when Pi drank the holy water?
      “You must be Thirsty” which is the Tiger’s name, right?

      • interesting observation. also noticed when the priest asked if he was thirsty (for water), he was also referring to being thirsty for the truth.

  7. Regardless of which story you believe, there is a truth about how Pi got from the ship to the Mexican shoreline. The truth is the truth whether you believe it or not, whether it makes sense or not. I think this is the point being made. Sometimes people hear the story (the truth), but because they don’t like it or it doesn’t make sense or they can’t prove it, they don’t believe it and they believe another story.

    When Pi was young he expressed that he didn’t understand the story of Jesus. That it didn’t make sense. At the end, Pi asks the man which story he prefers. The man says he prefers the one with the animals (the one that’s unbelievable). Pi says that “it is the same with God,” meaning that God does things in unbelievable ways.

    • Sean almost nails it!
      When Pi was young he expressed that he didnt’t understand the story of Jesus. That it didnt make sense. At the end, Pi asks the man which story he prefers. The man says he prefers the one with the animals (the one thats unbelievable). Pi says that ‘it is the same with God’.

      The man says he was told the story will make you believe in God…..

      Many do not understand and therefore fail to believe and yet many still believe. Either way Pi survived the impossible out at sea in both stories and either way no matter which story you prefer ‘science’ or ‘religion’ . Jesus sufferd and was crucified for the salvation of man.

  8. Ben,s explanation regarding the inference of the ending poser of ‘Life of Pi’being left to the viewer’s preference, takes away the essence of the human spirit and struggle for survival of the protagonist against all odds,and projects him just as a fantasy story teller,very good at spinning a yarn of unbelievable incidents/happenings.
    The Japanese Marine Investigators were presented both versions of the what happened out there and they did come to a conclusion in their fact finding report, acknowledging Richard Parker the royal bengal tiger as the second survivor of the incident/accident/casualty report.
    Life of Pi tells us the story of a very intelligent young boy who is reasonably trained and aware of the strength of the tiger thanks to the demonstration given to him by his pragmatic father and his upbringing in the zoo.
    In a highly ingenious way he takes up the challenge of reverting his name
    to what he wants to be called by a spectacular attention diverting act which is taken to the level of an event.This itself is no mean fact, if you do not agree, ask people who are still stuck up to their embarrassing nick names.
    He learns the strength of the Tiger in the demonstration given to him by his father and this takes him beyond common sense by accepting that iron rods of the cage despite their appearance do yield to allow the goat to be pulled in.
    This thought process changes his view to accept some seemingly faith dependent concepts of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.(I would not take chance for my salvation- driven).
    He possesses a natural affinity to pick-up skills and learns nuances of complex mudras in Indian classical dance and their meaning by observing this while playing the percussion instrument Tabla and is able to decipher a message given to him by the girl during her dance lessons.
    He survives because of his curiosity to learn more about the ship he is in
    and is lucky to get in to the Life Boat. He is a skilled swimmer with some possible genetic coding from his uncle who named him after the famous french swimming pool.
    Survival out at Sea is an extensive training course for skilled seafarers, for a sole surviving passenger knowing all about the various resources, viz Life Boat Manual, available ration, sea anchor etc his IQ is once again at his help.
    At this juncture it is well established that Pi is an extremely intelligent and skillful young boy who in all probability will die of tiredness and boredom if their is no such a challenge which motivates to keep him alert and on the go at all time.Richard Parker is the one which keeps him alive for all those 227 days. No such incident that he encountered out at sea goes in the realm of pure fantasy. He takes an intelligent decision to get off the toxic island inhabited by the meer cats.
    The tooth inside the Lotus is no divine message for his well aware and intelligent brain.
    Lets give credit to the Japanese investigators that they did reach an informed decision after hearing and analyzing both the versions carefully.
    The only divine intervention that can be seen here is the spirit of the Man.

  9. I think the tiger symbolizes God.

  10. I was just wondering… how did Pi get rid of all the dead animal , especially the zebras’, carcasses? Did the tiger eat all the meat? I know it is not significant to the movie at all, but I was just wondering.

    • Animals never existed.

  11. Having recently gone through an event which not only has shown me the will of human survival. But the nessecary component of true belief in G-d or some sort of higher power as being one of or the most important keys to human survival. We are all,as G-d created us. Man with free will,but also the knowledge, , curiosity and reasoning skills and the opportunity to believe in the unseen. As apposed to an animal who stays alive merely by trusting in his own predetermined instincts. The circle of life the survival of the fittest. The tiger is at the top of the animal food chain. But we as humans are presented with choices. Some choose desire and ruthless survival,over compassion for our fellow man. In the end it is the person that posses humility , strength of character , love and respect for life , and the faith in G-d who will ultimately truly survive. Pi ‘s determination and instinct (similar to the tiger) along with his belief and loyalty to g-d are ultimately what kept him alive.

  12. We have to play pretend because its a fictional story with fictional characters. There is realism interwoven but its art. All we can really do is discuss the movie and book as such. What did the author and film producers intend? Did they mean to entertain and/or teach us something? Details were purposely omitted and conflicting information was presented strategically. Obviously they meant to stir our emotions and create some controversy. Financial gain.

    We know life really can be stranger than fiction! Experience is king. Knowing is reserved for those who experience 1st hand. Its impossible to know anything for definite based solely on someone else’s experiences (testimonials). We can wonder, imagine and empathise…. Few know what its like to suffer hopelessly. Perhaps the animal story is meant as a coping mechanism for Pi. Perhaps the animal story is the one Pi prefers, and thats how he is able to cope, and discuss his horrific experiences. There are two stories told, but Pi’s character gives a far better performance with the animal tale (accompanied by Avatar-like cinematography). In contrast, the human story was the more abbreviated, and not supported with visuals and film. Perhaps god and religion is a story for people who need help coping. “And so it goes with god”. The power of the open mind is incredible. Some of these thoughtful posts are testament. The horizon of the unknown recedes as we try to approach it. It seems the more we think we know, the more we overlook. You certainly can’t learn something, when you think you already know. Perhaps this is the problem with religions (and knowledge).

    The wise man questions the wisdom of others because he questions his own. The fool questions the wisdom of others because it differs from his.

    • Just to say I think your comment about wisdom is very remarkable wise.

  13. First class thought-provoking film. Now I must read the book!

  14. One of my favourite books and loved the film.

    If, in the ‘human ending’ the tiger = Pi, then who was Pi? I think Pi must = God, who trained, protected and gave guidance to Pi (tiger) to help Pi survive the ordeal.

    It broke God’s (Pi’s) heart when he sees the tiger (Pi) leaving for the jungle to continue his life, without looking back.

    In life, I think we sometimes receive help from God but don’t always show our gratitude and thanks, even though we know the ordeal was real, and that we received divine guidance at the time.

    • I was discussing this movie with my students just now and I feel your response is a good one to bring up to them. Most of them hated the part of Richard Parker going off into the jungle. Relating it to humans leaving God makes sense. Thank you!

      • Richard Parker in the boat was invented by Pi as his alter ego to help him survive the ordeal and to provide with the animal-like qualities necessary to overcome the challenges he faced (e.g. killing of the cook). Once Pi was back among humans and the ordeal was over, his animal part left him – it was no longer necessary. There is enough of the surreal in the extreme situation on hand. No need to evoke a figment of our collective imagination to explain it.

    • The very last moment of the film just before the credits roll we see the pause Richard Parker takes before leaving to head into the jungle, during this we see Richard Parker thinking of Pi. Could this mean that actually he did thank Pi (or Pi thanked god) for his guidance during their time at sea? And seeing as the whole film is based on the idea it is difficult to believe something that seems so unbelievable it could then follow that Richard Parker is not ungrateful to Pi however finds it difficult to comprehend thus finds it difficult to show his gratitude even in a very small way such as turning around to look at him one last time, or the parallel although Pi knows god guided him through his trauma he initially found it difficult to express his gratitude but eventually committed to telling his two stories in order to provoke thought and question into non believers such as the Writer?

  15. You hit this right on the nail….This is exactly what I got out of this movie…Very well said… :)

    • @Kathryn, who hit it right on the nail?

  16. Just watched the movie (twice,) have never read the book.

    I LOVED it. It will always be one of my favorite movies.

    My interpretation:

    From a very young age Pi is very sensetive, intelligent, curious and spiritual. He starts a lifelong quest seeking spiritual enlightenment from ALL major religions… all paths to God. Pi finds enlightenment on his unfortunate journey at sea. God protects Pi and see’s him home.

    It doesn’t matter which story you choose, because there is no right or wrong answer. There is no correct path to God. All paths lead to the same destination.

    There’s a part in the movie where Pi discusses with God’s will he will train William Parker… and he does. But he can’t the tiger. This to me was an allusion to our Free Will. And William Parker leaving Pi is US turning OUR backs on GOD.

  17. Just watched the movie (twice,) have never read the book.

    I LOVED it. It will always be one of my favorite movies.

    My interpretation:

    From a very young age Pi is very sensetive, intelligent, curious and spiritual. He starts a lifelong quest seeking spiritual enlightenment from ALL major religions… all paths to God. Pi finds enlightenment on his unfortunate journey at sea. God protects Pi and see’s him home.

    It doesn’t matter which story you choose, because there is no right or wrong answer. There is no correct path to God. All paths lead to the same destination.

    There’s a part in the movie where Pi discusses with God’s will he will train William Parker… and he does. But he can’t the tiger. This to me was an allusion to our Free Will. And William Parker leaving Pi is US turning OUR backs on GOD.

  18. They are both one story, the animal one is the beautiful version to mask the gruesome alterative of what is the ultimate survival story yet still a beautiful One in a way. The tiger is his own reflection as his farther unwittingly said , I also think this is shown through each other when they look into the sea as a dream and see the same vision . The tiger left him that day when he survived and it was part of him , he had tamed his wild side to survive and rationalize to survive mentally. .. This is my thoughts thanks

  19. I just saw the movie and was blown away. I don’t think the human story, which was godless and cruel, was what really happened. I thought that was Pi’s way of trying to make someone without faith believe a story that by all accounts was unbelieveable. At the end he said that God had continued to be with him…the flying fish when he was close to starving, surviving the storm, landing him on the carnivourous island, and then showing him that he had to leave that island when he found the tooth. I love all the thought provoking interpretations. No one persons view will be the same, just as no one path leads to God.

  20. I think that the tiger was Pi’s ego. He had to confront his ego the whole trip (symbolic of what we have to confront in our “sea of life”. He overcame and tamed his ego.

    • I agree with Jane Wilkinson No need to ramble on with intellectual prowess, just nicely said.

  21. All stories around any.religion. people spend so much time challenging.details of the.story.and. not the conclusion meant. Take Noah as an example that is shared by number of faiths . Yet you hear so many stories about how could this happen and how did it changes.human race. Not the pure fact of that the good survived and the the rest.didn’t. Challenge but challenge the conclusion and meaning not details and proof. Great book brief movie

  22. All stories around any.religion. people spend so much time challenging.details of the.story.and. not the conclusion meant. Take Noah as an example that is shared by number of faiths . Yet you hear so many stories about how could this happen and how did it changes.human race. Not the pure fact of that the good survived and the the rest.didn’t. Challenge but challenge the conclusion and meaning not details and proof.

  23. I read the Life of Pi and was deeply disturbed by it. I cannot believe that the film is an accurate transcription of the book or would be suitable for family viewing if portraying it as written.

  24. For those of you who believe that the harsh human story, any of you think that Pi’s mum did not make it to the life boat? Yes, I think that the Orangutan represents Pi’s mum, but not her real person physically; rather it’s Pi’s mum in spirit that came to him when he was struggling in the lifeboat with the crazy chef. It would be good to know someone else see this metaphor like I have observed. Do drop me a line: douglas711@gmail.com

  25. I love the movie.

    For those of you who believe the human story, any of you think that Pi’s mum did not actually make it into the lifeboat? Yes, I think the Orangutan represents Pi’s mum, but not her real person physically; rather she came to Pi in spiritual support when he was in fear and confusion struggling in the lifeboat with the chef and the injured sailor. I wonder if there is anyone else see this like I have. It would be great if you could drop me a line on my gmail.

    douglas711

  26. What I took away was this: There is a reality, and that reality is the people story. But when people don’t want to face suffering, a horrible reality, or they can’t fathom certain horrors that men perpetrate on each other even if they participate in it – they make up a fantastical magical story draped over the frame of real human experiences so as not to be responsible for, or deal with, reality. In other words we create religion so we don’t have to take responsibility for the reality of human behavior, and to a smaller extent, to explain the unexplainable in nature and fate. We don’t want to believe that our suffering is for nothing, but we also don’t want to believe that collectively as humans, we are responsible for much of our own suffering.

    • @Robin: Your analysis is spot on; that man, in his quest to explain the unexplainable, needed religion and faith to help make sense of the sense-less. My favorite part is when you said “we dont want to believe that our suffering is for nothing.” Therein lies the core of religion.

      • Thanks Piesis. I also noticed that on this, and other forums people were “confused” about the meaning because they can’t separate God from Religion in their analysis.

        I think the author/protagonist was making the point that he understood God to be separate and apart from religion. That God was really the universe, and everything in it – both familiar – in that God is in all that we know of animals, people, nature – but also infinitely unknowable since our minds can’t really grasp the scope of the whole universe as a system (much like a worm can’t comprehend humans, or the whole earth/ecosystem in which it is a part of).

        On the question of “Is religion real?” the conclusion I grasped was that just like mythologies, fables and folklore – underneath the supernatural *magic* of all religious parables and writings there are kernels of real human experiences and history that carry solutions, warnings, as well as some universal human truths. So that by studying religion we can become better acquainted with the whole human/world historical experience, and therefore better understanding of the Universe ‘big picture’ as a system – or his version of ‘God’.

        Whew! To sum it up, much like me, the author/protagonist feels that we humans become the gods of our imagination by broadening our ‘real’ knowledge. Think of how we fly in chariots (planes), or shoot thunderbolts from the sky (weapons), move water (dams), or communicate with others without being physically present (phones/comp) – these were the powers of the gods of our ancestors.

  27. If you correlate the animals with people then the Tiger is Pi’s way of explaining his violent(but ‘natural’) inner beast that came out in the worst of times. Pi gets to be a split character (both the boy and the tiger) in the story because he would only know HIS inner person, not that of the others.

    • Well said…

  28. Wow! Thanks for this review. I agree 100%! This is exactly what I took away upon seeing the movie, though I’ve never read the book. However, seeing the movie definitely makes me want to read the book.

    • Well said…

  29. i think it was meant for the viewers when in the end,Pi said ‘the story is yours now’.

    believe what we want to,we all have something to take from it either story we choose :)

    wonder what he meant when he said,’so it goes with God’.