A journalist meets with a man named Pi, whom he heard has a great story, one that will teach the listener about God. Pi sits down and starts in his childhood, as a young boy in India, curious to learn everything he can about all of the religions. His father owns a zoo, and one day when he gets too close to a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, his father shows him how dangerous animals can be by forcing Pi to watch Richard Parker slaughter and devour a goat. As a teenager, Pi is forced to uproot and move to Canada when his father is given an offer for all of his zoo's animals; this would allow his father to retire and no longer have to care for the zoo. Unfortunately, the freighter gets damaged in a huge storm, and Pi is thrown into a lifeboat and cast over the side. His entire family dies, and Pi is left on the boat with a stranded zebra and orangutan. A hyena crawls out and, horrifyingly, kills both the zebra and orangutan for food. Afterward, Richard Parker pops out from below a tarp and kills the hyena, leaving Pi and Richard Parker alone, with no food, on a boat, where neither of them can trust the other won't kill him while he sleeps. Pi builds a raft from wreckage, starts fishing and feeding Richard Parker, and slowly begins to develop a rapport with the creature, necessary if they are going to survive the ordeal long enough to find land or rescue.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a beautiful story, grounded in reality yet containing plenty of fantasy elements, with gorgeous cinematography and strong themes of religion and survival.
Best scene in story:
In one scene, Pi tries fishing, and suddenly a school of flying fish begin jumping out of the ocean around Pi and Richard Parker. It's a breath-taking sequence of magic.
Opinion about the main character:
Pi is an ordinary kid, curious and sensitive, caught in the most extraordinary of circumstances. He acts heroically brave considering the adversity he faces.