Sunday, December 2, 2012

Oh ... Richard Parker

All adults should go and see Life of Pi, if they haven't read the book already. I am not a fan of fiction but this was great story telling. You want it so much to be non fiction, and finally we get Ang Lee who treated the book with respect. The fantastic images which was in the book came to life on the screen and were some of the most magnificent scenes ever.

Life of Pi is an adult fairytale. You can make as many associations of the meaning behind the characters and story line as you like. In the end its a search for God. Its a wondrous story, believable even, although if you hear of a boy spending 277 days adrift with a wild Bengal tiger, you'd think its pure fiction. Yann Martel made it very believable.

The name Richard Parker probably was taken by Martel as he has come across a few shipwreck incidents where persons by the name of Richard Parker was the victim, and in one case a victim of cannibalism.

Can you imagine, Martel's book was rejected by the first 5 publishers he showed to. It eventually won the Booker Prize as well. This book would be excellent material for English classes for "O Levels" and maybe "A Levels".

Parents will take their kids to see the movie, but kids will not get half of the beauty and deeper meanings to the story. Still, you can allow the story to move you and you can make deeper associations and meanings, or you can walk out of the theatre thinking its just a cute story .... I know which type of person I would like to be good friends with though.

In the end, Life of Pi means this to me:
- will a person give up on God
- what does it take for a person to give up on God
- if there is no God, maybe we would need to invent one
- should we interfere in the natural order of animal kingdom, we can infer that to the "order of the human specie as well", be eaten by the stronger or can you reason your way out
- are there things in life that will happen no matter what we do
- what are we surviving for
- optimism, inner strength, resoluteness ... from God or from oneself or both
- would an atheist behave differently in such situations
- how much of us is Richard Parker, the orangutan, the zebra, the hyena

But the most poignant moment for me was the question by Pi, about why Richard Parker did not say goodbye properly ... I think Richard Parker (or certain fellow human beings) did not know how to say goodbye, or in my view, sometimes its better this way .... and so it is with God.