After opening Christmas presents at my house, and then having a wonderful Christmas celebration meal at La Poste in Clifton, we walked down Ludlow to the Esquire Theatre to see the Life of Pi.
I had read it quite a few years ago, and did not remember all the details – but just the power of the story of the boy and the tiger.? Seeing it in 3D on the big screen was still a shocking experience.? Wincing and fearful when the boy was sliding around the deck during the storm – even when I knew he was going to end up in the life boat with the tiger – the shocks got worse for the many minutes of the storm and the sinking of the boat, the zoo, his family.
Once the story settled in, it was / I was better.? I had forgotten about the hyena entirely, but remembered the feelings of the days on the ocean.? The photography / special effects were incredible and beautiful. The phosphorescence, the huge animals in the sea.
Then finally the death trap island.? As I recalled from the book, the boy was in the boat which was following the current away from the island when the tiger came rushing out of that forest into the boat.? The movie reverses that.
And the end comes rushing up suddenly, with Pi pulling the boat out of the surf on to the shore, and collapsing into the sand.? Richard Parker came out of the boat once all was still, walking to the edge of the forest, and then entering without a look back.? Which devastates Pi.?? That such a journey should end without a goodbye, an acknowledgment of joint peril survived.
I had also managed to forget – though I knew there was something tangled up at the ending – that the story may have happened the way it was told to the Japanese insurance folk.? I like the tiger version best.
This is definitely one of the best movies of the year.