Sometimes I read a book first, and then see one or more film versions of the story. Other times the reverse is true. Often I enjoy book and film in much different ways, due to the fact that a screenplay has constraints that a book does not.
Today’s preview is Life of Pi (2001), a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel. I saw the film this winter, and enjoyed it more than I expected. It was intriguing, when I thought it would be lengthy and dull. Now I want to read the book.
The title character is Piscine Molitor Patel, Pi for short, who finds himself spending 227 days stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean after being shipwrecked. The story is told in retrospect. His family owned a zoo, and attempted to emigrate with their animals from India to Canada. Pi’s only company is a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, after the tiger disposes of a hyena, an orangutan, and a zebra. A tale with spiritual overtones, this will keep you on the edge of your seat.