Religion, being religious, what does that mean?
Pi's father wanted reason not faith.
Pi's mother wanted faith in anything vs reason - faith was life's key.
So Pi believed.
He believed in everything religious: Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Christ it was all good to Pi. Pi's father was infuriated by his faith in everything because faith in everything was faith in nothing. That type of faith leads no where, it provides no path in life and no reason for living. To believe in everything was to believe in nothing. Pi's father rejected religion and chose to believe in reason itself. Think things through, use your mind and understanding to reason things out. Reason provides mankind with the logic to understand the world around us and Pi's father didn't see value in thinking about a life beyond the physical world we see and know now.
What a great debate that has been debated for millennia.
Is there a god, or are there gods? Is there life after death? Does what we do and believe in this life affect what happens to us after this life? Do we cease to exist in every way when we die and only this life matters? Is there life or nothing after death.
I don't often "get" the message that filmmakers want audiences to "get", or I get their message and just choose to reject it.
What I "got" from The Life of Pi movie:
Each of us individually has to make life philosophy choices while here on earth.
Pi's father chose reason, his mother chose her Hindu faith, Pi chose faith but covered all bases and believed in many paths to God.
Then disaster hit. This underscored for me that everyone dies. Whether we were good, evil or somewhere in between we all die and how we lived our lives and what we believed dies with us.
Pi lived through the disaster and had to live out his life choices in the brutal reality of being lost at sea.
So Pi creates a reality that he can live with. Richard Parker, the hyena, the zebra, the orangoutang, Pi, the cook, the mess hand, his mother all blended into a story his mind could accept. Life happens, we react and then we must live with what happened and the reaction we had to it.
The story is as simple as that and yet so much deeper. What was the meaning of the island he found which offered salvation and destruction at the same time?
To me the island represented the daily living of life. Everyone living out their days according to their own philosophies existing here on earth together eating, drinking, existing by day. The night peril on the island indicated death. Death takes away the individual while the collective continues on. We get so wrapped up in what is happening in our daily lives we don't see the death that awaits us. Our life's journeys consume us and we neglect our souls. Then death happens. All that remained of the person who existed on the island before Pi was a tooth. Pi knew he wanted more from life than just living out endless days.
Pi wanted to experience more than existence so he had to leave the island. He had to get back to searching for the meaning of his existence and understand what part faith and God had in him and over him.
When he reaches his last ounce of self-sustaining strength and totally surrenders to God, God intervenes and brings Pi back to land where he is found and saved. Faith brought him close to God and God sustained him.
Whether it was Pi and his struggles to exist with himself, Richard Parker or Pi alone after his human companions destroy each other in the desperate struggle of life lived when all humanity is stripped from them after the disaster -- either story is Pi's way back to God.
In the end I felt uplifted by the story. We see at the end Pi's struggle with God is over. He did not go back to India and its 30,000 gods. He stayed in Western culture and prayed to Christ. He chose Christianity above all else to believe in.
Why? Because when individuals reach out to God in their sinful condition God, through Jesus reaches out the them and forgives their sins. Faith in Jesus removes the sin, and uplifts individuals. Pi survived. He survived while life was being beaten out of a companion, he survived while cannibalism was happening, he survived after killing another human being. Why did he survive? How could he live with himself? He survived because God reached out to him and after all his sins were revealed God said you are forgiven and through my sonJesus you have a life of faith and a life worth the living.
That is what I "got" out of the Life of Pi. Was it what you got out of it? Any and every interpretation is possible and like life we won't know until its all said and done what consequences and meaning it all had.
Great movie I recommend it to all!