‘Life of Pi’: Why Ang Lee’s Movie Upstages Martel’s Novel

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About Donald D'Haene

Donald D'Haene started his own successful theatre/opinion web site: http://www.donaldsdish.ca, is an author (Father's Touch), Huffington Post Blogger, and was one of the male Survivors on the Oprah 200 Survivors Episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, November 2010. Follow Donald D'Haene on Twitter @TheDonaldNorth.


  1. While I agree that the film is lovely, it misses so much of the experience of the book. Pi’s relationship with Richard Parker becomes much more central in the movie (and in a way that misrepresents animal training technique) whereas Pi’s religious wonder holds more focus in the novel.

    Also, Yann Martel’s “notes” at the beginning of the book are part of the whole point too, a fascinating and unsettling meta-version of the “Which is the better story?” question. (As in, the novel starts with the appearance of notes, rather than after the notes are done.)

  2. Thanks for your comment Ted. I have friends who love the book…as I wrote I loved parts of the book but I loved the entire film. I do not think I missed any of the experience of the book and if I had experienced the book in the film I would have been disappointed. I know you are not alone in your experience but neither am I..I received this note from someone tonight:

    “I agree completely…When I read the book years ago, the moment I read the last word on the last page, I immediately went back to word one on page one—I simply did not want it to end.
    I did not expect to be disappointed by the movie, only because the promos were so good. We saw it over Thanksgiving, and loved it. I am glad they left out the “two blind guys” scene, and even though they PG’ed the heck out of it, it was visually spectacular and emotionally fulfilling.”

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