Many of you know that Life of Pi by Yann Martel is my favorite novel. I finally watched the movie version (2 Oscars!). It was visually stunning, and I recognized some quotes direct from the book. But I can only imagine the difficulty of fitting such a vast story into a two-hour visual format. There were so many details they had to sacrifice to accommodate the overall story.
***WARNING — SPOILERS***
The zebra and orangutans were eliminated too quickly. Which leads me to comment on the nature of Time in this movie and the impossibility of depicting the amount of Time he spends adrift. I don’t think Pi’s resourcefulness was depicted accurately. As far as gathering food, there are no details about the little ecosystem that grows on the bottom of his raft, nor turtle catching. He only seems to come upon one or two windfalls of food (like the flying fish scene). Pi is only shown spending one night on the island before realizing the carnivorous nature of it, not weeks (again, a Time issue), and Richard Parker is never shown licking his feet. The entire (and I think pivotal) scene in which Pi goes blind and encounters another castaway was completely omitted. And don’t get me started on adding a romantic element that served no purpose.
Despite the flaws, I really enjoyed it and there were some scenes that were entirely faithful to the book. And I adore Irrfan Khan. But I’m allowed to nitpick because I’ve read it three times. So there.