My wife and I just got home from seeing Ang Lee’s incredible new film “The Life of Pi.” I encourage you to see it and take your older children and teens (about age 10 and up – it is rated PG). I can honestly say that it is the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen. Be sure you see it in 3-D to get the full impact. It is well worth the extra cost.
The cinematography, however, is only part of its appeal. The film is the story of an adult Asian Indian man named Pi Patel who tells an interested writer the story of his life. Before Pi begins the tale, he warns the skeptical writer that his story “will make you believe in God.” He first tells of his childhood in India where his family owned a zoo and he had a great curiosity about various religions.
For economic reasons, when Pi is a teenager his family decided to take their animals and move to Canada. Pi then relates a fantastic tale of their voyage to North America on board a Japanese cargo ship. En route, the boat encounters a horrendous storm and sinks. Pi is marooned at sea with a Bengal tiger and his tale of survival is nothing short of miraculous.
I won’t say more, so not to give anything away. I will say, though, that it would be a stretch to call it a Christian film. Nonetheless, Pi’s spiritual journey from childhood to adulthood can open the door to wonderful discussions about the differences between worldviews, especially the contrast of Naturalism and Theism. That’s why I recommended you take your kids or church youth group to see it. But if you do, make sure you take the time afterward to analyze it with them. Use it as a teaching tool to help them understand the vital decisions they will have to make about what they believe is the real truth about God and the meaning of life.
Oh, one other thing. The Best Supporting Actor Award for this year should go the actor playing the character of Richard Parker. You’ll see what I mean. He’s great.