Spoiler Space is a dedicated discussion area for people who have already seen a movie and want to talk about plot details we'd rather not reveal in our review. While we don’t promise spoilers for every film, here’s where you can discuss them to your hearts’ content.
One of the interesting choices Ang Lee makes with his Life Of Pi adaptation is in not visually jumping back in time to make the parallels between the wounded zebra and the wounded crewman, the orangutan and the mother, and so forth. He presents the metaphorical story extremely viscerally and in closely realized detail, but the real story (if that’s what it is) only gets a flat verbal retelling, with the Japanese investigators spelling things out for the audience, but no flashbacks to closely connect the stories, or to connect the emotions of the metaphorical story with the facts of the real version. It seems to be a conscious distancing effect, with Lee strongly stacking the deck in favor of the fantasy by making it so much more cinematically compelling.
That aside, for me at least, he never fully made the connections between the first third of the film, with Pi’s religion and philosophy, and the rest of the film. It’s all visually beautiful, but not particularly integrated. I’m certainly curious for other people’s take on whether the two parts of the story worked together well for them.