Friday, January 18, 2013
Oscar Contender Life Of Pi
The movie introduces itself as a story that will make you believe in God. This is overstated. Oprah fans will buy its contention that faith offers a prettier window on life than cold reason. I do too. Yet, not everyone believes just because it's comforting to do so. Remember Delta bluesman Robert Johnson hearing hell hounds on his trail or Aussie bluesman Angus Young hearing hell's bells? That kind of faith is uncool. The fear of God may be "the beginning of wisdom," but it no longer qualifies as "inspirational literature".
For our vegetarian sailor, hunting meat for the tiger is uncomfortable. Yet, being meat for the tiger sounds more uncomfortable. So, he embraces the reality that carnivorous predators fill a holy spot in the grand scheme. Still, he never takes the next step to recognize nature's sovereignty in equipping us humans with omnivore teeth. (We have whole grain, fruit and veggie grinders in the back and lean meat incisors in the front.)
Whether we prefer the myths of a conservative western pope or the myths of a liberal eastern guru, nature doesn't dance to tunes devised by men. Nor will it likely pay heed to the decision of the lofty film academy. What's the message in this movie based on the Booker-Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel? We're all in the same small boat by the grace of the same infinite sea. Deal with it.