Is it possible to make someone believe in God just by telling them a story? I’m not so sure. But a good story can certainly make someone want to believe. Or at the very least believe in the storyteller.
I’m not sure I’d go quite so far as to say Life of Pi will make you believe in God. Certainly the story at the heart of the film is inspiring, fictional or not. But I do think anyone would be hard pushed to watch this and not be convinced that belief in God is better than the alternative.
Life of Pi is a film like no other. It is so refreshing to see a film come out of Hollywood that is not afraid to embrace man’s search for meaning. The human yearning for God, for the eternal. It’s fair to say, whatever your religion, faith is not at the top of the agenda in Hollywood. And yet here we have a film which bucks the trend.
One of the contenders for this years Best Picture Oscar, Life of Pi has a good chance of taking home some awards. Not only are the visuals stunning but the story telling which makes use of them is second to none.
It’s hard to believe that a single actor in a boat with a adult Bengal Tiger could constitute the guts of a box-office hit and a critic’s favourite but Life of Pi has done just that.
If you like your movies entertaining, visually engaging and with plenty of heart then Life of Pi is a must see and is my pick for best picture at this year’s Oscars. It is the first film I’ve seen since Terrance Malik’s Tree of Life which has had a good go at stirring us out of our materialistic, one-dimensional viewing habits.
If you’re worried that Life of Pi is a film which attempts to flog any particular religion over another, it’s not. It is a human story in the truest sense of the word.
Where faith and reason meet there is more room for doubt in our world today than ever before. As our cinema and our society grows more disillusioned by the day, we need movies which offers us more than escapism.
In today’s world we need films which respond positively to hope as opposed to taking the easy option and giving into the temptation to cynicism. We need our filmmakers to recognise the fundamental human longing for happiness by acknowledging the very reasonable search for answers to life’s defining questions.
Who are we? Why are here? We don’t need Hollywood to give us the answers to these questions but it wouldn’t hurt to think about them more often as a cinema-going community.
Life of Pi is one of the few films in recent years to sensibly and unashamedly confront its audience with the real value of faith by challenging our assumptions about what religion is and what it means to be religious. The word ‘religion’ means relationship, so religion is simply man’s relationship with God.
Life of Pi frames this relationship in an unbelievable story of adventure and survival and asks the audience to suspend their disbelief long enough to consider if it is not entirely reasonable to put our faith in God? Even in the most unreasonable of circumstances.