In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we watch Ang Lee’s Life of Pi from 2012. It stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, and a handful of CG animals, and it’s a film that can be used to explain the Christian theme of perseverance in the face of trials.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet seen this film please do so before you continue reading and/or listening to the podcast. Our points hinge on the twist at the end, and we don’t want to ruin that for you.
To give that theme its gravity, we have to understand the relationship between Pi and Richard Parker – that is, between the human and the tiger on the life boat. If we’ve interpreted the end the film correctly, Richard Parker is revealed to be the ferocious animalistic heart of the young Pi; indeed, young Pi and the tiger are one in the same.
Well, they are the same, but they’re also not, because Richard Parker more aptly represents the sinful nature of young Pi – the thorn in his flesh, to put it like Paul. Because we find out that it wasn’t the tiger who killed the hyena, but it was Pi who killed the cook. Young Pi then has to live with his sinful nature for the entirety of his season on the lifeboat with the mission to subdue it.
Sometimes trials are just as internal as they are external. Sometimes trying to subdue our own sinful nature can feel like being strung out in a lifeboat. Sometimes growing into maturity in Christ means coming to terms with your past sins in order to help someone else.
But we can only plant and water; God gives the increase.
For complete show notes and other episodes of FCC visit the Finding Christ In Cinema website.
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QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in LIFE OF PI? Let us know below.