Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Life of Pi - Review


lifeofpiposter.jpgThe only way to truly enjoy Life of Pi is by bringing a pumpkin pie with you to the movie theater.

Suraj Sharma stars as Pi - the boy who is fascinated by religion and the animals his family cares for at their zoo in India.  Unfortunately, their fate takes a turn for the worse, and the family has to make their way across the Pacific Ocean with the zoo animals, when a horrible storm sinks the boat.  Only Pi survives and, in a twist that sounds like it comes from a horrible, corny, borscht belt joke, he ends up on a lifeboat with an Orangutan, a Zebra and a Tiger. 

How in the world can this guy survive this situation?

Early on, a character remarks on how Pi's story is supposed to make us believe in God, but it made me believe in The Devil because only Satan (or a former girlfriend)  would put me through this much torture, complete with one of the worst bait and switch moments in movie history.  It's so bad I started to root for the tiger to eat him.

I could have stomached Life of Pi if it was the fabled fairy tale you come to expect it to be throughout the majority of the movie, but Director Ang Lee and Writer David Magee (based on the novel by Yann Martel) chuck that in the nearest dumpster to give us an ending that betrays the entire tone of the movie.

Lee and Magee make most of Life of Pi into a mystical and spiritual journey begging the audience to question how Pi is able to survive this horrendous ordeal.  Is the hand of God, Buddha, Allah or whatever higher power you believe in aiding this young boy?  

Why isn't this tiger eating him like you and your family just devoured the Thanksgiving Turkey?  

Are they finding some sort of soulful connection and respect?  

Or is it just some wimpy tiger?  
Life of Pi is a movie full of despair, danger and loss, thanks to Sharma's strong acting performance, but it also feels overly familiar.  

It's just Castaway in reverse.  The kid is Tom Hanks.  The tiger is a less charismatic and compelling Wilson and the kid starts on a raft and looks for an island instead of being on an island and looking to sail off in a raft.  Get the lawyers on the phone for a plagiarism case because you sir have angered Tom Hanks!

Life of Pi is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday if you need to find a nice quiet place to nap while everyone else is fighting over the last flat screen TV on the showroom floor on Black Friday.


1 Waffle (Out of 4)

Life of Pi is rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril