Home > Books, Movies > Why I liked the book Life of Pi but not the movie, necessarily

Why I liked the book Life of Pi but not the movie, necessarily

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

I’ll be the first to admit, I have a bad habit of reading a book before watching the movie adaptation. This time was no exception. What was interesting about the situation was not that I was anticipating watching the movie itself even during Oscar season, but that another book (Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives by Thomas French) actually made me want to read it. I love reading books about animal behavior; makes more sense than human behavior a lot of the time (just kidding, maybe).

On to Life of Pi, the movie.

The movie had many many differences from the book, but ultimately what really disappointed me was very little time was devoted to Pi and his observations in his father’s zoo, not to mention his quest for religious enlightenment out of as many religions as possible. They were so very interesting in the way Yann Martel described them that I didn’t understand why none of it was really captured. I’d say 5 minutes out of the movie, maybe. Then, a love interest for Pi? I don’t remember that, either.

Now I know that the producers of this film wanted to get as wide an audience as possible to watch it, so the graphic imagery was cut out. However, I felt like it should have been part of the movie, because a lot of those descriptions really drive home to the reader how much of a mistake it is to give animals too much in the way of humanistic qualities. A tiger is a tiger, no matter how cute and cuddly you may think it is.

Ultimately, if the movie had stayed true to the book, it should have been at least a hard R rating. That would limit audiences, but at least the more interesting scenes from the book would have made it in.

The book is wonderful, but not an easy read. If you are squeamish (and I do tend to be), don’t eat a big meal before reading. But it is so very worthy.

How often do you get a warning like that, right?

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