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Life of Pi (2012)

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A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1,497 ( 127)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 78 wins & 129 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pi Patel
... Adult Pi Patel
Ayush Tandon ... Pi Patel (11-12 Years)
Gautam Belur ... Pi Patel (5 Years)
... Santosh Patel
... Gita Patel
Ayaan Khan ... Ravi Patel (7 Years)
Mohd. Abbas Khaleeli ... Ravi Patel (13-14 Years)
Vibish Sivakumar ... Ravi Patel (18-19 Years)
... Writer
... Cook
... Older Insurance Investigator
... Younger Insurance Investigator
... Priest
... Anandi
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Storyline

In Canada, a writer visits the Indian storyteller Pi Patel and asks him to tell his life story. Pi tells the story of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, and the origin of his nickname. One day, his father, a zoo owner, explains that the municipality is no longer supporting the zoo and he has hence decided to move to Canada, where the animals the family owns would also be sold. They board on a Japanese cargo ship with the animals and out of the blue, there is a storm, followed by a shipwrecking. Pi survives in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker. They are adrift in the Pacific Ocean, with aggressive hyena and Richard Parker getting hungry. Pi needs to find a way to survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tiger | india | journey | faith | pi | See All (247) »

Taglines:

Welcome to Pi's Ark. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

Country:

| | |

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

21 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una aventura extraordinaria  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,451,514, 23 November 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$124,987,023, 25 July 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$609,016,565, 25 July 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Vfx studio "Rhythm & Hues" won an Academy Award for this film. This was two weeks after they declared bankruptcy. The main reason was, that there were many substance changes without paying for the extra work. Ang Lee did not even mention the Vfx-team at the Oscars. Most of the work in this film was done by this team. There is also a short documentation about this, named Life After Pi (2014). See more »

Goofs

When standing in French class talking about his name, Pi writes the number pi to nine digits after the decimal point. According to mathematical rounding rules the ninth digit should be 4, not 3 (pi = 3.14159 26535 89793 ... ). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Writer: So, you were raised in a zoo?
Adult Pi Patel: Born and raised. In Pondicherry, in what was the French part of India. My father owned the zoo, and I was delivered on short notice by a herpetologist, who was there to check on the Bengal monitor lizard. Mother and I were both healthy, but the poor lizard escaped and was trampled by a frightened cassowary. The way of karma, huh? The way of God.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are also in 3D. See more »

Connections

Featured in Revealed: Oscar Hopefuls (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Tiruppukal
Written by Arunagirinathar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The most imaginative film this year
21 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

''I had to tame him,'' (Pi) realizes. ''It was not a question of him or me, but of him and me. We were, literally and figuratively, in the same boat." From Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

You will see no more imaginative film this year than Life of Pi, whose conceit of a young Indian boy stranded with a Bengal Tiger in a lifeboat amid the Pacific Ocean is fantastical yet real in its metaphoric implications. While the framing device of a story told to a stranger uses the old flashback, the lonely lifeboat is as new as any story told in the last century.

The film begs interpretation from the multiplicity of religions to the place of mankind in a hostile, Darwinian world. Ultimately the benign brotherhood of beasts and humans is affirmed not so much by lofty philosophy but by the necessity of man and beast working together to survive.

The digital rendering of animals, especially the Bengal Tiger, is beautiful to behold. The opening scene in Pi's family zoo could be right out of Terence Malick's visionary camera, a montage of nature gorgeous in its simplicity. The several formalistic shots of the boat at night are worthy of the best lighting in the best aquariums in the world. Together with the impressive use of 3D, director Ang Lee has visually taken us from the opulence of Crouching Tiger and the minimalism of Brokeback Mountain into a fusion world of fancy and reality. The images are stunning.

In the end, Lee is interested in the individual's place in the universe as he struggles to harness nature and yet live in harmony with these elements. The conflict with the gross cook aboard the Japanese cargo ship taking Pi's family and animals to Canada is emblematic of the challenges facing the gifted with the groundlings. Pi's relationship with tiger "Richard Parker" represents all mankind's struggle to live in harmony with the forces it cannot control.

"Believing in everything is the same as believing in nothing," says Pi's father because Pi samples religions from Hinduism and Buddhism to Catholicism and Judaism and wants them all. Although it is not given to us to have them all, Pi's piety practically makes us believers in the universal brotherhood.

The Life of Pi is everyone's life; the film is one of the best of the year and, even remembering the greatness of The Old Man and the Sea, Moby Dick, and Billy Budd, the best you will ever see about a boy, a tiger, and a boat.


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