Hello life

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Life of Pi may have had mixed reviews but it sure starts conversations. I’ve heard ‘Brilliant’ to ‘You wha’?’ and everything in between. There’s ‘Loved the book, hated the film,’ and – more unusually – the opposite. I’m in the ‘brilliant’ camp on both counts: I loved the book and found, for once, that the film enriched it.

Maybe it didn’t jingle your bells. Maybe it was all too unclear. What actually happened and what did Pi make up? Were there animals or people on the boat? How could African meerkats live on a carnivorous island in the Pacific? Why all the religion at the beginning?

All that confusion – most unsatisfying. It takes the ground from under your feet and sets you adrift in a little boat on a choppy ocean, going who knows where, with danger and beauty staring you in the face … hey, hello life.

While a few things might be sure – the sun will rise, leaves will fall and the teacher will turn round the minute you stick out your tongue – mostly you have to fill in the gaps, write your own story to navigate between little islands of fact.

And that’s the beauty of stories:  we take from them what we will, which is what makes them such fun to write. I’ve had so many responses to Dead Hairy – funny, mystery, adventure, family fun, quirky – the book speaks differently to everyone.

So was there a tiger on the boat, or just Pi behaving tigerishly to avenge the death of his mother?  Take your pick. You can have a story that’s brutal, rational and what-you-see-is-what-you-gettical, or a tale of challenge, heroism and faith. Hey, hello life.

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4 Responses

Kate says:

Hi Debbie!
I just watched The Life Of Pi at the cinema today and I’m delighted to read your post about it. The confusion can be unsatisfying maybe even irritating or infuriating at times but I think confusion fuels ideas in one’s imagination making what may seem impossible possible.
The beauty of stories comes from what you believe or think will happen.
It was when the film was coming to an end made me realize the different ways this story could be interpreted:Where the animals there at all?,and were they humans seen as animals through Pi’s beautiful mind? In my opinion the answer lies in whatever the individual believes whether it seems wrong to someone else.This is similar to the arguments about religion at the beginning of the film. Pi’s parents didn’t want Pi to believe in different religious beliefs,they wanted him to be a Hindu,but it was Pi’s belief and no one could change it.
This film was great,it had so many twists and turns,a gripping tale which has now inspired me to read the book and I hope to do so in the near future.

Debbie says:

Great to hear you had a similar reaction to the film, Kate. While I agree that the story could be interpreted both ways, I loved the part at the end where Pi thanks the listener for choosing his tiger version, i.e the tale of challenge and heroism. I’ll opt for that version of life any day! It sounds like you really got to the heart of the film and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. D 🙂

Mari G says:

Hi Debbie. Just discovered your new blog! Was wondering where you were & discovered link in your e-mail. Congrats on dazzling new website!
Haven’t been to see Life of Pi yet, but it’s on the list.
Hope to see you Wed nite – thanks so much for invite
(that rhymes doesn’t it?)

Debbie says:

Great to hear from you, Mari. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and happy new year. I’d so recommend Life of Pi – gets the mind boiling in all directions. Really hope to see you tomorrow – all family welcome. DX

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