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Life of Pi | 2012 | PG | - 2.4.3

After a ship transporting zoo animals sinks, the zoo-owner's son (voiced by Suraj Sharma) is the only human survivor: Just 16 years old, he must lead a lifeboat crew of wild animals that include an orangutan, a wounded zebra, a hyena and a Bengal Tiger. Also with Tabu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu and Rafe Spall. Directed by Ang Lee. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A young man and a young woman stare at each other in a dance class as other young women giggle; the young man asks the young woman about a hand gesture that means "Lotus flower hidden in the forest" and receives no answer, but she looks slightly embarrassed, implying a vague romantic reference. A young man and a young woman go for a walk and she braids a friendship bracelet on his wrist; at dinner that night, the young man daydreams about the girl.
 At a swimming class, several young boys swim wearing trunks that reveal bared chests; a male instructor with a disproportionately large chest wears shorter trunks and we see his bared chest. At a swimming pool, many women wear bikinis that reveal cleavage while several men and boys wear swim trunks. Several women wear long saris with a bared circle of midriff visible under long scarves.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A violent storm at sea causes a ship to rock (we see thunder, rain and lightning), a young man gets up from bed and walks outside to see the storm, slides across decks as the water surges, filling below-decks, and a zebra swims along a companionway toward the camera; monkeys jump up and down on the deck as the young man screams for his family, sailors toss him into a lifeboat (he slides off, but climbs back aboard), the zebra jumps into the lifeboat and cries, warning buzzers sound on the ship, red lights flash, and the ship sinks with loud creaking metal sounds (we hear that the young man's family died).
 Several animals are attacked and die: A young man in the ocean floats in a lifeboat, an orangutan floats up on a bunch of bananas and climbs aboard, a hyena crawls out from under a canvass-covered area and attacks a zebra, the ape and the young man, biting the zebra on the haunches and the ape on the shoulder (we see some blood on both), and the ape knocks the hyena out, but it revives and attacks the ape grabbing a hold of its throat (the camera cuts to the ape facedown with a small pool of blood under its face); the hyena attacks and eats part of the zebra in a long shot (the next morning there is blood on the zebra's hindquarters), a tiger kills and eats the hyena (we see a little blood), swallows a rat whole and drags the zebra and the ape under the canvass-covered area of the boat (we never see the zebra or orangutan again and hear nothing further about their status).
 A young man and a tiger fall out of a lifeboat repeatedly and survive to climb back aboard: Sharks (we see the fins) circle the tiger and the young man several times and swim away and the young man slaps a small shark away with a long pole.
 A boy holds raw meat in trembling fingers at the end of a caged run for a tiger in the family's zoo and as the cat approaches the boy's father runs in screaming and grabs the boy; he then forces the boy to watch as the tiger grabs a goat (off screen) and we see the cat drag the bloody carcass away. A young man feeds a tiger chunks of raw fish on the end of a long pole. Many flying fish soar over and fill up a lifeboat, beating their flippers loudly around a young man and a tiger; the man and the tiger eat raw fish and the human catches additional large fish and cuts several apart (we see some blood and raw meat), and feeds fish to the tiger and eats some himself. On an island, a young man finds green roots to eat and his tiger companion eats a meerkat in a long shot (no blood is seen). As night approaches, the greenery on an island comes alive and many meerkats run into treetops to escape carnivorous plants and a tiger jumps into a lifeboat for safety. We see skeletons of fish left by meerkats. A young man finds a large glowing flower in a tree and pulls back its petals to find a human tooth, indicating that the plant had eaten a man, whom we hear was experimenting with acids on the island and died.
 A young man sees glowing jellyfish under his boat at night and they swim in eerie patterns; when a humpback whale breaches the surface, the young man is knocked out of his boat and into the ocean; there, he watches glowing jellyfish and then sees a flashback of a sunken freighter, also glowing, and when he climbs back into the boat and looks into the water he sees a vision of a giant squid attacking a large fish that transforms into a group of zoo animals followed off screen by a huge monster fish with sharp teeth.
 A violent sea storm sweeps all the supplies off a lifeboat and a supply raft tied to it; a young man and a tiger in the boat begin to starve as time passes and the human becomes sunburned; he bandages a large raw area on one of his shins and experiences a widespread rash across his side and chest. An emaciated young man with ribs showing says to a starving tiger in a boat, "We are dying; I'm sorry!" as he cradles the tiger's head in his lap; the next day, he pulls the boat to a sandy shore nearby and collapses as a narrator says the boy was so exhausted he might drown in two feet of water and the tiger stumbles away into the jungle. A young man fires a signal-flare handgun three times and burns a torch for a passing ship's crew to see, to no avail. Several men find a collapsed young man on a beach and carry him to safety where we later see him in a hospital room.
 On a freighter, a cook tries to force a vegetarian woman to eat meat until her husband intervenes and requests vegetarian foods, but the cook refuses; the two men fight until sailors pull them apart (we see no injuries). Over the side of a boat, we see a shark attack and eat a large fish quickly, without blood. A young man kills a fish, pounds it in the head off screen with the blunt end of a hatchet and cries for taking a life, but thanks God for food. A table full of many cuts of raw meat is seen. A young man points a long pole at a tiger and shouts several times to train the cat to stay in its own half of the boat.
 A young man tells a story for survival and details the following: There were four survivors and they were himself, his mother, a cook and a sailor; the sailor broke a leg that became infected and he died, and the cook cut him into fish bait as the woman beat the cook in the head; the cook beat the mother in the head and killed her, then beat the son in the head and fell into the water; the son dragged the cook back, cut him into pieces and fed the pieces to the sharks.
 A man wears a metal brace from hip to foot on his leg and walks with a limp; we hear that he was very ill as a boy with an unnamed illness and that science healed him when there was no god available; he tells his two young sons that Hindus have 32 million gods and all religion is darkness. A husband and his wife argue at dinner over allowing their young son to believe what he learns on his own. A young man argues with his father about moving the family to another country. A young man shouts to God for help twice. In a school for boys, the students joke about urine; they taunt one particularly bright student because his name sounds like "piss"; the teacher picks up a glass of yellow tea, looks at it, and sets it down again (it reminds him of urine).
 Several animals and a young man become seasick in a lifeboat; we see the human, a hyena and a tiger all vomit onto the bottom of the boat, but water from the ocean washes away the goo.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 6 scatological terms (5 are nicknames for a boy named Piscine), name-calling (idiot, monster, Swami Jesus, Pope PI, curry-eaters, brute), stereotypical references to young boys, teenagers, parents, novelists, insurance adjusters, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists, expected animal behaviors, 6 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A zoo owner gives tranquilizers covered with bananas to apes on a ship in order to prevent seasickness, and a hospital cabinet contains beakers of unknown transparent fluids. A young boy drinks holy water in a church on a dare (nothing magical happens).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Shipwreck, danger, survival, moving to a new country, animal rights, responsibility, maturity, resourcefulness, teasing in school, wealth, different religions, finding the truth.

MESSAGE - In a crisis, a young man can call on the resources of his faith.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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