Life of Pi is something I've been meaning to watch for awhile now. It did so well critically that many thought it was possible it would win an Oscar. Though the only thing I knew about the story was a young man sharing a boat with a tiger. Not exactly a thrilling plot from that limited perspective but the story is obviously way more than that.
The plot begins with the early life of a man named Pi who was born and raised in India. His father has run a zoo for many years but one day decides to move to Canada. The whole family travels by boat, but it sinks in a terrible storm. Pi manages to find a lifeboat and survives with his family not being as fortunate.
During the storm, a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker (a funny nickname from the zoo) manages to climb into the boat. While Pi is scared of the tiger, he manages to find a way to keep a safe distance and to make sure the tiger can survive with the little bit of food and fresh water they can get. With the days seeming endless, both Pi and Richard Parker do their best to survive while they hope to be rescued.
Overall I can very well see now why it achieved such critical acclaim. The story is brilliant and the visual effects are often gloriously beautiful. It also discusses the issue of religion, where Pi strangely follows three different faiths simultaneously but with one love for God. While I assume it was the author of the original book's intention to make a case for deism, I found the story also shows human tendency to prefer fact mixed with fiction to bear the burden of a grim reality.