I’m going to talk about God. Now, if you’re a sane individual, that last sentence made your ass pucker. And, within the first ten minutes of Life of Pi, when Pi says, “I’m going to make you believe in God.” My ass completely puckered. I had been duped. I didn’t know this was a religious movie.
It’s not that religion is bad or anything. I have some form of belief, just as you do, even if your belief system is the absence of one. The problem with talking about religion is that it’s too varied and nobody will ever agree completely with your ideals. There are disagreements even within one religion. Look at the Catholics, almost all women Catholics believe that birth control is ok to use. And all the old men Catholics think it’s a sin against God. THEY’RE IN THE SAME FUCKING CHURCH AND THEY CAN’T AGREE!!! So, most people shouldn’t talk about religion because, when they do, they end up sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher to everyone listening. I almost shut down in Life of Pi, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s a pretty film with a sweet center.
The film follows, as the name would dictate, the life of Pi. Pi’s a religious dude but he’s an equal opportunity religious dude. In fact, homeboy signs up for almost every major religion. It’s a convenient way to not offend anyone but it works for the most part. Anyway, Pi gets into a shipwreck and spends months floating around the sea. But he’s stuck with a tiger, which is rad, more movies should have tigers in them. And together they just float on and pray to God.
And here’s where the religion thing kicks in. Life of Pi has a very thin, fine line to walk. It has to show a man of faith be tested, that’s pretty much the entire moral. But, it has to do so without becoming preachy because, again, no sane human being likes when things get preachy. And Pi walks that line so deftly it’s amazing to watch.
(Also, typically James Cameron’s bullshit phosphorescent visuals piss me off but this time they weren’t that bad. Probably because Cameron just helped out and didn’t direct the film. If he had we would’ve had another Avatar on our hands. And, fuck Avatar, that movie looks cheap and dated and it’s only a couple years old.)
There are moments, particularly toward the end, where I was like, “Oh boy, here we go. Lay it on me, it’s gonna get all deep and heavy handed on me.” But Pi never hits you over the head with anything. In fact, it allows wiggle room for you to project your beliefs onto the film. Atheists can be like, “That wasn’t about God.” Christians can be like, “God is good!!” Hindus can be like, “Gods are great.” And so on and so forth.
And, some might argue that this movie is a jack of all trades and a master of none but I think it proves just how similar the human race is. So let’s stop fighting dudebros. I don’t care if you worship Zuul from Ghost Busters. We’re all just here to get along, dudebros.