The Life Of Pi Plot Spoiler And SummaryPosted: November 23, 2012
The new Life Of Pi movie came out this week. I’m going to summarize the film for you. As is the case with all my movie discussions, I have not seen the movie. I’ve only seen a television commercial.
The movie is based on a book that I haven’t read. If you plan on seeing the movie, stop here and come back after you see the movie. I don’t want to spoil the plot for you.
And Now, The Story
Once upon a time, there was a mathematician named Pi. His real name was Phil, but all his buddies called him Pi because of the math thing.
Phil shared a house in India with several roommates. They knew that Phil’s work was taking a toll on him. Spending all day doing math problems was making him boring and no fun. They decided to help him by pooling their money and surprising him with a cruise vacation.
One of the roommates, Walt, was put in charge of making Phil’s travel arrangements. Walt was a sketchy character. He booked a cheaper cruise than the friends agreed upon and kept the money he saved by doing so.
Phil found himself on an outdated cruise ship that was doubling as a freighter. On this trip, the ship was transporting a circus to an engagement in Sri Lanka. The seas were rough. Between ship’s motion and the smell of the animals in the hold, everyone was seasick.
No one was sicker than the ship’s captain (played by Francesco Schettino in the role he was born to play). He was so sick that he left the bridge. The ship hit a reef while he was throwing up over the side. Down went the ship. Phil ended up in the water, hanging on to one of those broken boards that are always in the water after a shipwreck.
It Looked Like All Was Lost
An empty lifeboat drifted by. Phil swam as if his life depended on it, which it did. Phil didn’t see a tiger also swimming for its life because the lifeboat was between them. Exhausted, our hero dragged himself up into the boat while The Tiger did the same from the other side.
“Yo, sorry chief, this boat is taken.”
The Tiger looked at Phil like he was a madman. “You’re kidding me, right? I mean, you see who I am,” said The Tiger.
Phil spat the saltwater taste from his mouth, then said “you smell like a wet cat.”
“I will eat you, man. I will totally eat you” said The Tiger”
“Oh, will you? Tell me, Mr. Not King Of The Jungle, if you eat me who is going to row this boat? You don’t have hands.”
We Can Work It Out
The rivals regarded one another while The Tiger considered what Phil had told him. He realized Phil had a point. Eating the human would be satisfying in the short-term, but could have long-term implications. The Tiger couldn’t grip the oars. Without being rowed, the boat would carry him further out to sea.
Phil and The Tiger reached an agreement. The human would row them ashore, the predator would not predate. They had no chance to survive as individuals. Together, they had a chance.
While Phil rowed his heart out, The Tiger navigated. He scanned the horizon for signs of the landfall that could save them. As he rowed, Phil taught the jungle cat calculus. The Tiger kept the human entertained by regaling him with tales from his hunts and off-color jokes about gazelles. Together, they made steady progress toward civilization and safety.
About 3.14159 days after their ship went down, Phil rowed the lifeboat ashore with The Tiger cheering him on. Together they celebrated their survival. Then The Tiger ate Pi. Three days with a mathematician will challenge the ethics of even the most noble creature.