Life of Pi
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I went to see this with my daughter and I just thought it was amazing. Though I am a big fan of the book. I was a little worried about how they would handle the ending. (Peter Jackson, after all, cut The Scouring of the Shire from Lord of the Rings because he felt it was a downer, and some folks feel that fundamentally changed the story.) So I can say Ang Lee preserved the essentials of the book's ending, and I feel it's probably okay for people who haven't read the book to go see. I wouldn't recommend people rely on the PG rating. This is more like Harry Potter III and less like Shrek. It's not a holiday family film.
I really liked something, which I don't think was in the book, about how life is a process of letting go. I think that is a great way to think about a healthy lifestyle. Back in the 70s and 80's, they used to say "don't talk about losing weight, because then you'll try and find it again!" It was the "never say diet" addage of that era. But letting go of things, this can both accurately describe what we desire in our physical transformation as well as the emotive process that sometimes lies behind it. Letting go is an active process, not something that simply happens to us.
In addition to excess pounds, I have let go of mindless eating. I have let go of turning to food for comfort. I have let go of the scale (well, working on it). I am working on letting go of guilt. I am learning that taking care of myself means doing things that promote health rather than things that will shorten my life.
The thing I see about Life of Pi, when a critic doesn't like it or says it is just a visual pageant, is that they have missed the real miracle. The miracle is not in how he survived physically, but why he was able to survive spiritually. As Nietzsche wrote, "he who has a sufficient why can bear almost any how."