Last modified on 31 August 2014, at 12:53

Life of Pi (film)

Set your house in order and begin for the battle to survive. … Above all: don't lose hope.

Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure drama film about a young man who survives a shipwreck and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Directed by Ang Lee. Written by David Magee, based on Yann Martel's 2001 novel of the same name.

Pi PatelEdit

The gods were my superheroes growing up. Hanuman, the monkey god, lifting an entire mountain to save his friend Lakshman. Ganesh the elephant headed, risking his life to save the honor of his mother Pārvati. Vishnu, the Supreme Soul. The Soul of all things.
Praise be to God. God of all worlds! The compassionate, the merciful! Come out, Richard Parker! Come out you have to see this! It's beautiful! … It's a miracle!
  • With one word, my name went from an elegant French swimming pool to a stinking Indian latrine — I was "Pissing" everywhere.
    • Explaining his development of the nickname Pi, as a response to schoolyard taunting about his birthname "Piscine Molitor Patel"
  • Thank you Vishnu, for introducing me to Christ. — I came to faith through Hinduism, and I found God's love through Christ. But God wasn't finished with me yet. God works in mysterious ways, and so it was he introduced himself again. This time by the name of Allah. — Allāhu Akbar. My Arabic was never very good, but the sound and feel of the words brought me closer to God. In performing salah, the ground I touched became holy ground, and I found a feeling of serenity and brotherhood.
  • Things changed after the day of Papa's lesson. The world had lost some of its enchantment. School was a bore, nothing but facts, fractions and French. Words and patterns that went on and on without end, just like my irrational nickname. I grew restless, searching for something that might bring meaning back into my life. And then I met Anandi.
  • Set your house in order and begin for the battle to survive. Establish a strict schedule for eating, keeping watch, and getting rest. Do not drink urine or seawater. Keep busy, but avoid unnecessary exertion. The mind can be kept occupied by playing card games, Twenty Questions, or I Spy. Community singing is another surefire way to lift the spirits. Telling stories is highly reccommended. Above all, don't lose hope. Few things can sap the spirit faster than seasickness. Waves are most strongly felt when a boat turns sideways to the current. A sea anchor is used as a drag to keep the boat's head to the wind. Proper use of them can increase control and reduce seasickness during rough seas.
  • Step 4: Disregard Steps 1 through 3.
  • In the zoo we fed our tigers an average of 5 kilos of meat a day. Richard Parker will be getting hungry soon. Tigers are powerful swimmers, and if he get's hungry enough, I'm afraid the little bit of water between us won't be any protection. I need to find a way to feed him. I can eat the biscuits, but God made tigers carnivores, so I must learn to catch fish. If I don't, I'm afraid his last meal will be a skinny vegetarian boy.
  • I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Thank you Lord Vishnu. Thank you for coming in the form of a fish and saving our lives. Thank you.
  • I can't risk my life every time I have to climb on the boat for supplies. It's time to settle this. If we're going to live together, we have to learn to communicate. Maybe Richard Parker can't be tamed — but with God's will he can be trained.
  • I never thought a small piece of shade could bring me so much happiness. That a pile of tools, a bucket, a knife, a pencil might become my greatest treasures. Or that knowing Richard Parker was here might ever bring me peace. In times like these, I remember that he has as little experience with the real world as I do. We were both raised in a zoo by the same master. Now we've been orphaned, left to face our ultimate master together. Without Richard Parker, I would have died by now. My fear of him keeps me alert. Tending to his needs gives my life purpose.
  • Words are all I have left to hang on to. Everything mixed up. Fragmented. Can't tell daydreams, night dreams from reality any more.
  • Praise be to God. God of all worlds! The compassionate, the merciful! Come out, Richard Parker! Come out you have to see this! It's beautiful! … Don't harm yourself! He's come to us! It's a miracle! Come out and see God Richard Parker! [to the sky] Why are you scaring him? I've lost my family. I've lost everything. I surrender. What more do you want? I'm sorry Richard Parker.
  • We're dying, Richard Parker. I'm sorry. Can you feel the rain. God, thank you for giving me my life. I'm ready now.

Santosh PatelEdit

You only need to convert to three more religions Piscine, and you'll spend your life on holiday.
  • You only need to convert to three more religions Piscine, and you'll spend your life on holiday.
    • Mocking his son's accumulation of religious faiths.
  • I don't expect us all to agree about everything, but I'd much rather have you believe in something I don't agree with rather than have you accept everything blindly. And that begins with thinking rationally. Do you understand?
  • Animals do not think like we do. People who forget that get themselves killed. That tiger … is not your friend. When you look into his eyes you are seeing your own emotions reflected back at you. Nothing else!

MamajiEdit

  • A mouthful of water will not harm you, but panic will.

DialogueEdit

Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, He was watching. Even when He seemed indifferent to my suffering, He was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, He gave me rest, then gave me a sign to continue my journey.
Adult Pi Patel: What has Mamaji already told you?
Writer: He said you had a story that would make me believe in God.
Adult Pi Patel: [laughs] He would say that about a nice meal. As for God, I can only tell you my story — you'll then decide for yourself what you believe.
Writer: Fair enough.

Writer: I didn't know Hindus said "Amen."
Adult Pi Patel: Catholic Hindus do.
Writer: Catholic Hindus?
Adult Pi Patel: We get to feel guilty before hundreds of gods, instead of just one.
Writer: [laughs] But you're a Hindu first?
Adult Pi Patel: None of us knows God until someone introduces us. I was first introduced to God as a Hindu. There are 33 million gods in the Hindu religion. How can I not come to know a few of them? I met Krishna first.

Pi Patel: Why would a God do that? Why would He send his own Son to suffer for the sins of ordinary people?
Priest: Because He loves us. God made himself approachable to us — human — so we could understand Him. We can't understand God in all His perfection. But we can understand God's Son, and his suffering, as we would a brother's.
Adult Pi Patel: [speaking to the writer of his memories] That made no sense! Sacrificing the innocent to atone for the sins of the guilty. What kind of love is that? But this Son… I couldn't get Him out of my head.

Santosh Patel: You only need to convert to three more religions, Piscine, and you will spend your life on holiday.
Ravi Patel: [laughing] Are you going to Mecca this year, Swami Jesus? Or to Rome for your coronation as Pope Pius?
Gita Patel: You stay out of this, Ravi. Just as you like cricket, Pi has his own interests.
Santosh Patel: No, Gita, Ravi has a point. You cannot follow three different religions at the same time, Piscine.
Pi Patel: Why not?
Santosh Patel: Because, believing in everything at the same time, is the same as not believing in anything at all.
Gita Patel: He's young, Santosh. He's still finding his way.
Santosh Patel: And how can he find his way if he does not choose a path? Listen, instead of leaping from one religion to the next, why not start with reason? In a few hundred years, science has taken us farther in understanding the universe than religion has in 10,000.
Gita Patel: That is true. Your father is right. Science can teach us more about what is out there, but not what is in here. [touches chest]
Santosh Patel: Some eat meat, some eat vegetable. I do not expect us to all agree about everything, but I would much rather have you belive in something I don't agree with than to accept everything blindly. And that begins with thinking rationally. You understand? [Pi nods] Good.
Pi Patel: I would like to be baptized.

Santosh Patel: You think that tiger is a friend? He is an animal, not a playmate!
Pi Patel: Animals have souls. I have seen it in their eyes.

Writer: So, you're a Christian, and a Muslim.
Adult Pi Patel: And a Hindu of course.
Writer: And a Jew, I suppose?
Adult Pi Patel: Well, I do teach a course on Kabbalah at the university. And why not? Faith is a house with many rooms.
Writer: But no room for doubt?
Adult Pi Patel: Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested.

Writer: I think, you've set the stage. So far we have an Indian boy named after a French swimming pool, on a Japanese ship full of animals, heading to Canada.
Adult Pi Patel: Yes. Now we have to send our boy into the middle of the Pacific, and uh…
Writer: And make me believe in God.
Adult Pi Patel: Yeah. We'll get there. It was four days out of Manila, above the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on Earth. Our ship, the Tsimtsum, pushed on, bullishly indifferent to its surroundings. It moved with the slow, massive confidence of a continent.

Gita Patel: My sons and I are vegetarians. Do you have anything…? No, no, no. Not more gravy.
Cook: You don't want gravy?
Gita Patel: No, I want something vegetarian.
Cook: Oh. No problem.
Santosh Patel: She asked if you have something vegetarian.
Cook: The cow that produced this liver was vegetarian, the pigs that went into these sausages were vegetarian.
Santosh Patel: Very funny. But my wife doesn't eat liver.
Cook: Then she can eat the sausage, the rice, and the gravy. Or you can cook your own food.
Santosh Patel: How dare you talk to my wife like that?
Cook: Here's your rice. I cook for sailors, not curry-eaters.
Santosh Patel: [strangles him] What did you say?!
Cook: Let go of me! Who do you think you are? You're nothing but a servant! I feed people! You feed monkeys!

Writer: It was a human tooth?
Adult Pi Patel: Don't you see? The island was carnivorous.
Writer: Carnivorous? Like a Venus Flytrap?
Adult Pi Patel: Yes. The whole island. The plants, the water in those pools, the very ground itself. During the day those pools held fresh water, but at night some chemical process turned the water in those pools into acid. Acid that dissolved those fish that sent the meerkats scurrying into the trees, and Richard Parker running to the boat.
Writer: But where did the tooth come from?
Adult Pi Patel: Years ago, some poor fellow just like me must have found himself stranded on that island, and like me he thought he might stay there forever. But all that the island gave him by day, it took away again by night. To think how many hours spent with only meerkats for company. How much loneliness taken on. All I know is that eventually he died and the island digested him, leaving behind only his teeth. I saw how my life would end if I stayed on that island. Alone and forgotten. I had to get back to the world, or die trying. I spent the next day preparing the boat. I filled my stores with fresh water, ate seaweed until my stomach could take no more, and brought as many meerkats as I could fit into the storage locker for Richard Parker. I couldn't leave without him, of course. It would mean killing him. And so I waited for his return. I knew he wouldn't be late. No one has seen that floating island since, and you won't read about those trees in any nature book. And yet, if I hadn't found those shores, I would have died. If I hadn't discovered that tooth, I would have been lost, alone forever. Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, He was watching. Even when He seemed indifferent to my suffering, He was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, He gave me rest, then gave me a sign to continue my journey.

Adult Pi Patel: By the time we reached the Mexican shore, I was afraid to let go of the boat. My strength was gone. I was so weak. I was afraid that in two feet of water, so close to deliverance, I would drown. I strugled to shore and fell upon the sand. I was warm and soft, like pressing my face against the cheek of God. And somewhere, two eyes were smiling at having me there. I was so spent, I could hardly move. And so, Richard Parker went ahead of me. He stretched his legs and walked along the shore. At the edge of the jungle, he stopped. I was certain he was going to look back at me, flatten his ears to his head, growl. That he would bring our relationship to an end in some way. But he just stared ahead into the jungle. And then, Richard Parker, my fierce companion, the terrible one who kept me alive, disappeared forever from my life. After a few hours, a member of my own species found me. He left and returned with a group who carried me away. I wept like a child. Not because I was overwhelmed at having survived, although I was. I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously. It broke my heart. You know my father was right. Richard Parker never saw me as his friend. After all we had been through, he didn't even look back. But I have to believe there was more in his eyes than my own reflection staring back at me. I know it. I felt it. Even if I can't prove it. You know, I've left so much behind, my family, the zoo, India, Anandi. I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye. I was never able to thank my father for all I learnt from him. To tell him without all his lessons I would never have survived. I know that Richard Parker is a tiger, but I wish I had said, "It's over. We survived. Thank you, for saving my life. I love you, Richard Parker, you'll always be with me. May God be with you."
Writer: I don't know what to say.
Adult Pi Patel: It's hard to believe isn't it.
Writer: It is a lot to take in, to figure out what it all means.
Adult Pi Patel: Oh, if it happened it happened. Why does it have to mean anything?
Writer: Some of it is pretty incredible.

Older Insurance investigator: Thousands of meerkats on a floating carnivorous island and no one has ever seen it?
Pi Patel: Yes. Just like I told you.
Younger Insurance investigator: Bananas don't float.
Older Insurance investigator: [Japanese] Why are you talking about bananas?
Younger Insurance investigator: You said the orangutan floated to you on a bundle of bananas, but bananas don't float.
Older Insurance investigator: [Japanese] Are you sure about that?
Pi Patel: Of course they do. You try it for yourself.
Older Insurance investigator: In any case, we're not here to talk about the bananas or meerkats.
Pi Patel: Look, I've just told you a long story and I'm very tired.
Older Insurance investigator: We're here because a Japanese cargo ship sank in the Pacific.
Pi Patel: Something I'll never forget. I lost my whole family.
Older Insurance investigator: We don't mean to push you. And you have our deepest sympathies. But we have come a long way, and we are no closer to understanding why the ship sank.
Pi Patel: Because I don't know! I was asleep, something woke me up, it could've been an explosion, I can't be sure. And then the ship sank. What else do you want from me?
Younger Insurance investigator: A story that won't make us look like fools.
Older Insurance investigator: We need a simpler story for our report. One our company can understand. A story we can all believe.
Pi Patel: So — a story without things you've never seen before. A story without surprises, without animals or islands.
Older Insurance investigator: Yes — the truth.

Pi Patel: Four of us survived. The cook and the sailor were already aboard. The cook threw me a life buoy and pulled me aboard and Mother held on to some bananas and made it to the lifeboat. The cook was a disgusting man. He ate a rat. We had food enough for weeks, but he found the rat in the first few days and he killed it, dried it in the sun and ate it. He was such a brute, that man. But he was resourceful. It was his idea to build the raft to catch fish. We would have died in those first few days without him. The sailor was the same man who brought rice and gravy, the Buddhist. We didn't understand much of what he said, only that he was suffering. He had broken his leg horribly in the fall. We tried to set it best we could, but the leg became infected, and the cook said we had to do something or he'd die. The cook said he'd do it, but Mother and I had to hold the man down. And I believed him, we needed to do it. So… I kept saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", and he just kept looking at me. His eyes were so… I'll never understand the point of that man suffering. I can still hear him. The happy Buddhist, he only ate rice and gravy. We didn't save him of course. He died. The morning after, the cook caught his first dorado and I didn't understand what he had done at first, but Mother did and I had never seen Mother so angry. "Stop whining and be happy," he said. "We need more food or we'll die. That was the whole point." "What was the whole point?" Mother asked. "You let that poor boy die in order to get bait, you monster!" The cook got furious. He started towards her with his fist raised, and Mother slapped him hard, right across the face. I was stunned. I thought he was going to kill her right there and then. But he didn't. The cook didn't stop at bait either, no. The sailor… he went the same way the rat went. The cook was a resourceful man. It was s week later that he… Because of me. Because I couldn't hold on to a stupid turtle. It slipped out of my hands and swam away. And the cook came up and he punched me on the side of my head and my teeth clacked and I saw stars. I thought he was going to hit me again, but Mother started pounding on him with her fists screaming, "Monster, monster!" She yelled at me to got to the raft. I thought she was going with me, or I'd never have… I didn't know why I didn't make her go first. I think about that every day. I jumped over and turned back just as the knife came out. There wasn't anything I could do. I couldn't look away. He threw her body overboard. And then the sharks came, and I saw what they… I saw. The next day I killed him. He didn't even fight back. He knew he had gone too far, even by his own standards. He left out the knife on the bench and I did to him what he did to the sailor. He was such an evil man, but worse still, he brought out the evil in me. I have to live with that. I was alone in a life boat, drifting across the Pacific Ocean, and I survived.
Adult Pi Patel: After that, they had no more questions. The investigators didn't seem to like the story, exactly, but they thanked me, they wished me well, and they left.
Writer: So the stories — both the zebra and the sailor broke their leg. And the hyena killed the zebra and the orangutan, so the hyena is the cook, the sailor is the zebra, your mother is the orangutan, and you're the tiger.

Adult Pi Patel: Can I ask you something? I've told you two stories about what happened out on the ocean. Neither explains what caused the sinking of the ship, and no one can prove which story is true and which is not. In both stories, the ship sinks, my family dies, and I suffer.
Writer: True.
Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer?
Writer: The one with the tiger. That's the better story.
Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God.
Writer: Mamaji was right. It's an amazing story. Will you really let me write it?
Adult Pi Patel: Of course. Isn't that why Mamaji sent you here after all? My wife is here. Do you want to stay for dinner? She's an incredible cook.
Writer: I didn't know you had a wife.
Adult Pi Patel: And a cat and two children.
Writer: So your story does have a happy ending.
Adult Pi Patel: Well, that's up to you. The story is yours now.

CastEdit

External linksEdit

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