Thoughts on the Movie “Life of Pi”: Letting Go

Life of Pi 3DFirst and foremost, the story is fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to — you’ll be glad you did. As I have with other movies, I’m going to talk about some of the plot, so if you haven’t seen it, save this post and come back to it after you have (if you don’t want some of the plot spoiled for you).


There’s a really important lesson that Pi expresses towards the end of him telling the story to his lunch companion: letting go. So many times throughout Pi’s life he’s had to “let go” and if he didn’t “let go,” he probably wouldn’t have survived his time on the Pacific.

Throughout Pi’s early life, we learn of his experimentation with many religions. As a young boy, he first learns about Hinduism and the multiple Gods. Later on, he learns of Christianity and Islam. As a result, he starts to follow the teachings of the three religions — no easy feat. I find it a bit ironic that when we meet Pi in his adult life and he talks about the story of his time with Richard Parker, the lesson he believes is the most important: “letting go.” That’s Buddhism. Do a quick Google search for Buddhism and let go and you’ll find almost 4,000,000 results. Of course, Buddhism doesn’t have some sort of trademark on the idea of letting go, but of the religions, Buddhism is the one I’ve most heard the idea of letting go expressed.

There’s one more thing I wanted to touch on about this movie — the ending, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Someone asked me if it was because of Pi telling the different story to the two Japanese fellows from the company and I don’t think that’s why. Just for me, there was something about the way the film ended that didn’t match the fantastical story. Throughout the whole movie, I was right there with Pi on the Pacific and scared as ever for him. I can’t imagine floating on a lifeboat on the Pacific — much less — a self-made raft, so that the tiger doesn’t have me for lunch.

There are two things I can do:

1) I can go and get the book and read the last few chapters (or the whole thing) — to see if maybe there wasn’t something carried over from the book to the movie (with regard to the ending).

2) I can simply let go.

Published by Jeremiah Stanghini

Jeremiah's primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective. In the same vein as the "Blind Men and the Elephant," it can be difficult to know when one is looking at the big picture or if one is simply looking at a 'tusk' or a 'leg.' He writes on a variety of topics: psychology, business, science, entertainment, politics, history, etc.

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