The Life of Pi
I read The Life of Pi about six years ago and believe that the film does justice to it, besides being beautifully acted and filmed. What is especially interesting is that the abstract word-based medium of the novel has been so successfully translated into the audio-visual medium of the film, when a major theme of the novel was the need for (or power of) narratives (spoken or written) to give meaning to our lives. This is why Krishna's mother sees the universe in little Krishna's mouth when she tries to see if he has been eating dirt: art fashions meaningful structures (the art work) from matter (dirt), and (spoken) narratives are produced from the mouth. One also uses one's mouth to eat, and vegetarianism is an important theme in the film/novel. I think Pi needed to create a narrative from his experiences at sea to cope with the traumatic loss of his family as well as the betrayal of his vegetarian ideal. The first narrative is presented mainly in terms of stunning visuals accompanied by Pi's dialogue. The second one, demanded by the dissatisfied Japanese officials, is narrated directly from the mouth of Pi as he sits in the hospital bed (a symbol of universal suffering?) without the accompaniment of visuals and music. The novel/film can be considered postmodern in that it is not important whether stories are true or not but only whether or not they are meaningful. I think in terms of the religious or spiritual theme of the film/novel, the narratives can be seen as an attempt at theodicy, but through art rather than metaphysical faith.