Eric Evans

Registered Psychotherapist

Toronto Psychotherapist working with depression, anxiety, serious illness, creativity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer issues.

Life of Pi

If you haven't read Yann Martel's book or seen Ang Lee's film of the same name, then I think you should run, not walk to Life of Pi - either to the theatre or the bookstore. I just saw the film and it's not perfect, it's not political, it's not "realistic" (that's the point!) and it's not about any particular struggle. I have friends who dismiss such films because they're not artistically adventurous enough, or politically aware enough, or don't engage with philosophical struggles in a rigorous way enough. Then I say either you are immune to pleasure, or there are many other films to see out there that fit that bill. But this isn't to say Life of Pi, the film, isn't engaging with something fundamental - it certainly is. It engages with how stories are told, why they are told and that they serve an essential purpose to all of us.

Granted, it's not about the struggle of itinerant zoo-keepers in a post-colonial India, about racism, classism, sexism, environmental degradation and whatever else my friend demands from every film he sees. His casual dismissal of this film, without seeing it of course, means that he is not open to the fact that no matter what our struggle, we need our imagination to make it meaningful and this meaning is what we carry with us for the rest of our life. Art doesn't have to "represent" every particular struggle. It can point to all struggles through a seemingly minor one. And a ravishingly beautiful one, at that. See this film.