“Life of Pi” field trip

Rachel Lang, Staff Writer

Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi, once said, “That between us and reality lies our imagination.” Ms. Pollack’s second period class, Theology and Film went on a field trip, Tuesday November 27th to see the movie, Life of Pi. Theology and Film is a course that gives the opportunity to explore deeper theological themes throughout films that affects how people view the world. This movie impacted our hearts and minds into a deeper understanding of life and religion. From the start the movie stated that this storyline will “make you believe in God.”


Pi, like the irrational number 3.14, is a young boy raised in India at a zoo. By the time he was 15 he developed three different religions, Hindu, Christian, and Islam. He had a general desire to comprehend and be closer to the different versions of “God”.  Although, each religion had its differences, he realized there was one common theme throughout all of them.  His faith was put to the test when his parents sold their zoo and decided to move out of India.

The ship they board sinks, and he manages to be the only human to get onto a small boat with a zebra, hyena, a friendly orangutan and a ferocious Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker. As time passes, the hyena kills the zebra and orangutan, and the tiger kills the hyena. The only food left for the Tiger is Pi, and this is where the drive for strength and reliance on God comes in. Throughout time this terrible voyage turns into a beautiful, magnificent journey evolving into a magical experience that sounds nearly impossible.

Pi witnesses glowing waters, gigantic whales, dolphins, flying fish, and a carnivorous man eating island that gives by day, but takes by night. To the viewer this is all appealing to the eye and pleasuring to the heart that in their head they are saying, “No this can’t be real” but they fall in love with the story so deeply that they make themselves believe what Pi is saying can actually happen. Eventually, when Pi lands in Mexico, no one believes the story that he tells. They explain, “I don’t believe you, I believe what I see.” Therefore, he has to make up a believable story. He says that there were no animals, only four survivors, who ended up dying in the end; for his survival he had to eat one. This, obviously being an appalling story, asks, “Which story do you prefer?” Each story had the same exact facts, each person tied with an animal, the ship still sank, and he was still the only survivor. Does the viewer enjoy the magical but yet impossible story or the believable yet awful story? The author and director hoped that the viewer would like the story with the tiger more. If they did, this is a realization of their faith. The common theme throughout every religion is that no one sees their faith, one cannot see “God”, but they believe. They pray and dedicate their lives to “God” without any proof that he is there. You have a choice to live your life in magic and see things with inspiration, hope and love believing “God” is there no matter what events shift your life, or you can believe the other story, and see life dry and emotionless.

“And so it goes with God…” is one of the last words spoken, this movie was an incredible influence on each student that affected us intensely influencing our imaginations and views on life. It’s one of those movies to watch every couple years, restoring ones faith and belief that anything can happen and God will always be leading the way to happiness.