I read the book a few months ago now, and posted about it, and I said I felt cheated with the ending. The fact that there were two stories, and it was left up to us to decide which was real and which wasn’t, infuriated me. I guess it’s because I don’t like ambiguity. I much rather a book tell me how it is or show me how it is, and for it to end without me left questioning what on earth is going on. But I’m a contradiction, in, that when I write myself, I leave it all ambiguous, and have a very open ending. So I guess I can like these endings, but I don’t. But having watched the movie, which was visually stunning by the way (and would have been awesome on a full screen and in 3D), I feel like I appreciate the book a bit more. I feel that the ending is completely fine, and that having two stories is somewhat powerful and ingenious.
I guess part of my greater appreciation perhaps could also be a wonderful thing called time. Granted I don’t think I’ve really been thinking about the book since I read it, apart from a few times where I heard other people were reading it, but I think the passage of time makes things look a little better. And my opinion of the book has definitely improved.
One thing I’m sort of glad they cut was the weird scene where Pi was nearly dying, and he was blind. That scene freaked me out, as he killed ‘himself’, or was it his brother, or was it another person trapped out at sea? Sure perhaps he was just hallucinating, and perhaps it was supposed to have a powerful meaning deeper than just the story, but I didn’t like it. So I was glad that was gone. Apart from that, I couldn’t really remember any differences between the book and movie. The movie cleared up some of the ambiguity, which perhaps aided in my understanding of the book. Though the time on the weird island was sort of glossed over pretty quickly, and somehow Pi figured the island out without having experienced the island’s acidity for himself.
Can I just state again how stunning the movie was visually. I watched one of the extras which showed just how much work went into creating the scenes. And it was phenomenal! So much work in animation! And they did such a good job that you tend to forget that what you are looking at is actually animation. Seriously, I struggle to comprehend just how many hours were spent on the detail of the animals or the sky or the waves. It’s just so incomprehensible, I think they said they spent like 2 years working on the scene of the ship going down! Two years on one scene! I think it’s worth a watch just for the visuals alone.