LIFE OF PI Written by David Magee Based on the original novel by Yann Martel 1 EXT. PONDICHERRY ZOO, INDIA, - DAY 1 CREDITS OVER: a magical. Life of Pi. 4th Draft - August 28, INT. DAY - PI'S BEDROOM. RAVI. That's why your father's chest is so large and his legs are so skinny. Screenwriting: Life of Pi Screenplay: A Boatload of Narrative by Phillip "The Scribe Who Cares'" Hardy. Phillip "The vitecek.info pdf.
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As the days wind down to the official balloting for the Academy Awards, the last holdouts for putting their award-contending screenplays online. Life of Pi (PDF script) Unspecified Draft Written by David Magee. In an Creative Trauma in Ang Lee's oceanic nekiya, Pi must confront his own Life dread, 40 Review of: Life of Pi, screenplay by David Magee, disappointment.
It allowed us to rearrange and play scenes off one another while maintaining a continuous narrative. Life of Pi is a story about all stories, the tolerance of many stories and the many versions of those stories. Maybe the tiger is a symbol for God. Maybe he's a metaphor for some aspect of Pi's personality, a spur to his motivation to survive.
Maybe the tiger is just a tiger. In the novel, Pi asks, "Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals? We rely on different narratives to explain the mysteries of the world. While some may be more factually accurate, they may not be more emotionally accurate.
I'm fascinated by Pi, a character who believes a little bit in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism Courtesy of Jean Christophe Castelli.
In a tricky adaptation, you find a way to express something that moves the story forward and leads your audience through a character's emotional progression. There's a line in the included scene, "Words and patterns went on and on without end, just like my irrational nickname," which quietly plays off of a later moment: Pi, stranded in the Pacific, is writing in his journal. He says, "Words are all that I have to hold onto," and we see the pencil getting smaller and smaller until finally, it's unusable.
That's how you know he's at an emotional end of his journey and, more subtly, that he's changed. Words are no longer frustratingly "irrational" to him anymore.
He's realized that his survival is due, in part, to his ability to hold onto stories and ideas. Suraj Sharma, playing the teenaged Pi, has just appeared for the first time, and we're trying to capture his adolescent disillusionment in this scene. It culminates with the introduction of a character that's not in the novel at all: Anandi, Pi's first crush.
When he leaves India, he must say goodbye to her, which makes their relationship all the more poignant. He believes it will go on forever. This is an example of where we took some liberty to set up the emotional struggle that Pi faces when he's in the middle of the ocean.
He's got somewhere to travel in his heart and mind as he realizes the world is larger and more complicated than the zoo in which he grew up; tigers are not just beautiful animals, they are ferocious and dangerous.
When working on an adaptation, it's important to take time to explore, make mistakes, and expand upon what the author has done. Yann was very open when we showed him the second draft—he liked the Anandi scene.
He also had to deliver pages of narrative and cleverly used voice over with Pi reading information from a survival manual and talking to himself, which is believable for anyone who is alone for long periods of time. And of course, Magee had the exciting element of having a Tiger in the boat coexisting with his young protagonist. Chandor has almost no dialogue. Though there is no tiger in his sailboat, the protagonist has the challenge of keeping his craft afloat with no working radio to call for help, while fighting the elements in time to be rescued.
I suspect the challenge of crafting a script for a story like this requires a lot of work, including studying up on the subject of how to skillfully operate a sailboat. But to undertake a project with so much narrative, a screenwriter needs a lot of practice.
That is such a great film and great script, which was based on the novel by Yann Martel, who also wrote another great novel, Beatrice and Virgil. Great link, Phil - you are certainly on a roll! Visual storytelling is very important. Thanks Guru Phil, formerly known as Zen Master. Halfway down, Pi hits water.
He dives, searching for his family. The hall lights flicker - the passage falls dark an instant before the emergency lights come on in the water below, which nearly reaches the ceiling. Pi dives, trying to swim against the flowing current; he's astonished to find a ZEBRA swimming toward him, passing overhead. He tries to swim further, but the enormous force of rushing water and air is too great; he scrambles backward, groping toward the stairwell. Pi sees movement - animals running. He scrambles toward them, the ship groaning as it lists sideways.
Oxen and deer are visible on the far side of the deck, backlit by emergency lights; Pi hears monkeys screeching, the clatter of hoofs pounding. In the distance, Sailors shout orders in panicked voices.
Pi runs to the Captain. Wait stay here. He grabs a life vest and starts to put it on Pi. PI You have to help them, please! Oh no my family, please. You have to help them, my family is back there. The Taiwanese Sailor jumps onto the ship. You must go. PI Who let all the animals out? They shove a life vest over Pi's head.
PI No wait! PI No please! They guide Pi to the side, where a section of the ship's railing has been removed to give access to the lifeboat. They push Pi over the edge; Pi falls onto the lifeboat, bouncing on the protective tarp that is still stretched taut across the bow. He grabs at the rope holding the bow, trying not to slip off.
The sailors are shouting at the French cook, who stands at the stern. What are you doing?! Bring it down! Tie it down! The sailors look towards the upper deck. Pi follows their looks and watches in horror as a zebra launches itself over the side of the ship, careening through the air toward the safety of the lifeboat.
The French cook staggers backward and jumps out of the way, falling to the water below. Pi throws up his arms as the life boat starts to drop.
The zebra arcs through the air, missing the tarp, landing on the exposed stern with a sickening thud, shattering the rear bench. The force sends the rig lines spinning. The lifeboat plummets to the water below. The impact spins it around, nearly washing Pi overboard. He is left clinging to the back of the tarp, the zebra on the floor of the lifeboat before him. As the lifeboat drops down the side of the swell, Pi slides to the front of the tarp. The Tsimtsum's propeller rises behind him.
As Pi steadies himself, a swell lifts the lifeboat, crashing it onto the deck of the Tsimtsum. It drops back into the sea, rolling over completely. The vessel instantly rights itself - the lifeboat is designed to be virtually unsinkable. Pi lands on the lifeboat's floorboards, next to the zebra. Pi sees the Tsimtsum at an angle, it's bow dipping below the water. As he tries to get up, Pi notices the orange emergency whistle that dangles from the vest.
He grabs it and blows, shouting between blasts. The deck lights of the freighter glow with a cheery, unnatural brilliance. By the light of the ship, Pi can just make out a distant figure in the water.
Pi spies a lifebuoy tied to a rope. He grabs it and heaves it as far as he can across the water. The moment Pi feels the tug on the line, he jumps into the uncovered part of the boat, lies back and begins hauling the rope in. Nearly finished, he lifts his head to peer over the side and sees who he's rescued.
A beat - and then Pi realizes what he's done. He scrambles backward in horror, trying to throw the rope overboard. Richard Parker paddles toward the boat.
Pi grabs an oar, wielding it against the approaching tiger. Richard Parker tries to grab the oar. Pi yanks the oar away, falling onto his back. He listens as Richard Parker claws his way up the side of the swaying boat, coughing and gagging water. Pi scrambles backward, oar still in hand. He rises and jumps overboard. An enormous wave rolls toward Pi - filling his lungs with air, Pi dives under, away from the assault of the raging storm.
Lightning casts a blazing white veil over the surface of the water above him, backlighting fish and animals, waves frozen in time like wrinkled bedsheets, their motionless texture pocked and dimpled with raindrops. As the sky explodes in white flashes, the scene is caught in surreal still shots. A hippo swims past, it's heavy form moving gracefully. Pi swims toward the camera - then freezes, reacting in horror as A shark swoops past him and up toward the struggling animals near the surface.
Pi dives defensively - the camera follows. Ahead, the Tsimtsum is visible, fifty feet beyond Pi, its deck lights dipping below the surface, casting an eerie underwater glow, bubbles flowing up to the surface; nearby, Pi can make out the floating oar. The lifebuoy floats a dozen feet off; he swims toward it. He grabs the oar moments before a huge wave sweeps him up and over the lifeboat.
He lands on the other side, the oar lost, and drags himself onto the stern. He jumps over the kicking zebra and scrambles onto the boat tarp. An oar sticks out from under the boat cover, hanging out over the front of the lifeboat. Pi climbs out on the oar, keeping himself a safe distance from the tiger he assumes is beneath the tarp. The air vibrates with a tremendous belching groan; Pi looks over to the cargo ship, watching, astounded PI Amma! I'm sorry!
Pi watches in horror as the Tsimtsum plummets into the depths of the Mariana Trench, it's deck lights gradually fading. Pi bursts into tears as waves from the sinking vessel buffet his lifeboat.
Pi weeps uncontrollably. Pi has hung the lifebuoy on the oar and now sits on it, slumped in exhaustion and shivering. With what energy he still has, he weeps - his face is puffy and swollen from a night of tears. Pi watches a shark fin knife through the waves. His feet have been trailing in the water; he quickly lifts them out.
He raises his head, looking at his new surroundings - water and air, clouds and sky. Nothing on the horizon. Pi creeps forward on the oar, pulling himself onto the gunnels - the side of the boat. No sign of Richard Parker.
The zebra comes into view in the stern of the lifeboat, injured legs folded beneath it, staring indifferently into space. He pauses to catch his breath, then becomes aware of a slight movement at one side of the tarp. Pi freezes, dumbfounded. PI Hari?
Hari, the hyena, with a sloping, bear-like forehead and the nervous manner of a beaten dog, reappears. Pi instantly dives across the tarp, scrambling for safety on the oar. The hyena staggers and stumbles listlessly. Pi turns to face the creature, struggling for calm. The screech of a terrified animal echoes across the water - the hyena looks out to port, the hair rising on its back, then staggers beneath the tarp. Pi squints into the rising sun. An enormous bundle of bananas bobs into view.
The bundle twists and rolls - and Orange Juice, the orangutan tries desperately to stay on top. This way! Within moments, the bundle is within reach of the lifeboat; Pi catches the oar handle in the netting that binds the bananas together and pulls it against the side of the boat. The netting, wrapped around the handle of the oar, pulls loose from the bananas, which tumble out of reach.
As Pi reels the netting in, O. Pi throws a banana to O. Pause I'll bet Mother and Father found him. They'll all be here soon. Intolerable heat. Flies circle the zebra, landing on Pi's face and arms. He's too exhausted to brush them away. The only sound is the incessant lapping of water against the hull. Pi stares out across the ocean - no rescue in sight.
He pushes himself upright, calling over the waves. Pi kneels and bangs his bailing bucket against the hull. The hyena emergees, shaking its head violently in an attempt to clear its thoughts. It screams in frustration and begins yipping.
Pi picks up the oar and pokes the hyena to fend it off. He watches with increasing alarm as the hyena paces in frantic circles - whatever tranquilizers this animal received are wearing off. The boy wraps his grip around the paddle, prepared to defend himself. The hyena abruptly stops pacing, coughing and retching - then lies down, shaking from emotional and physical distress.
It sets its head on the edge of the tarp, predator eyes fastened on Pi. Pi has hung the paddle and lifebuoy off the end of the boat and perches on the bow. The hyena's eyes seem to glow in the last light, fixed on Pi. Pi stares back. Pi fights fatigue as waves splash interminably against the hull. He winces at each creak of the lifeboat; his eyes glaze over as he stares out at the endless, dusky seascape.
Pi sees movement in the shadows. The hyena attacks the zebra; the zebra barks and squeals. PI No! Stop it! Pi slumps over the oar, eyes half open, glazed. He has stayed up a second night for fear of being attacked, and now he slowly nods sideways, giving in to exhaustion despite himself, and tumbles into the water.
Pi gasps in shock as the water slaps him into full consciousness. He climbs back onto the life ring - coughing, tired, wet, sad and fearful. The lifeboat rolls and growls beneath Pi's feet as he stares - and then he notices O. The poor orang is sitting on a side bench half-hidden by the tarp, and horribly seasick. Her tongue lolls out of her mouth and she's visibly panting.
PI I'm sorry, O. Ah, supplies! Pi pulls up the edge of the tarp nearest the bow. A row of benches with hinged lids curve around the bow. He pulls out the manual and flips through it - an illustration shows that the boat is lined with compartments. He opens the next bench - it's stuffed with life jackets. He tosses one of the life jackets to O. Pi finishes tying a knot in a piece of rope that joins oars to the lifebuoy.
Pull back to reveal that Pi has built a makeshift raft, tying three oars into a triangle around the lifebuoy and using the banana net to gather the life vests into a bunch beneath. Pi sits back, mopping his brow, then begins pushing and dragging his raft over to the edge of the lifeboat to launch it.
The hyena comes out from under the tarp to see what all the noise is. As it paces, it gets too close to O. The hair on the hyena's neck and shoulders stands up - suddenly, it launches an attack. Pi cries out, flinching - but O. But the hyena gets up in an instant - it attacks again, this time going for O. Pi searches through the piles of rope, finding a knife. He rises and dashes forward. Pi reaches the end of the tarp.
The hyena retreats.
Pi, enraged, confronts the hyena. Come on!! Pi feels the tarp move under his feet Pi falls backward on the tarp, stunned. As the tiger clamps his jaws around the hyena, finishing it off, Pi leaps back to the bow, shoving his makeshift raft into the water. The raft splashes in the water and the tiger turns; Pi looks back and comes face-to-face with Richard Parker. The tiger stands with front feet on the crossbench, sniffing the sea air, examining his surroundings for the first time, agitated by this open air environment.
As he turns to go back under the tarp, his gaze falls on Pi. Richard Parker's ears swivel, and his lip twitches, revealing a canine as long as a finger.
Pi, terrified, grabs an oar and holds it out, trying to prevent an attack. Unfortunately, he also blocks Richard Parker's path back under the tarp. The tiger tries to go around the oar, and when Pi blocks his way, the tiger swings a paw, knocking the oar into the ocean with such force that Pi is spun completely around with his back to the tiger. He falls into a crouch, cowering, prepared to die.
Richard Parker's predator instinct takes over. He snarls and pounces on the tarp, menacingly close to Pi - then hesitates, unsettled by the softness of the tarp beneath his feet. The tiger retreats, examining his surroundings. Pi jumps toward the raft. He belly flops into the ocean and rises in a panic, trying to scramble up onto the raft, only to have it flip completely over his head. Pi shivers, his eyes glassy, his lips chapped and skin waxen from hours of exposure.
He tries various ways to re-shape the raft. A shark slips up alongside Pi and bumps him, sending Pi scrambling back to the safety of the raft. Hands appear on the gunnels.
Pi lifts his head over the bow. The tiger is nowhere in sight. Pi quietly climbs aboard. He tries in vain to control his chattering teeth and shaking limbs as he opens the starboard bow storage bench. He sees a duffel bag, zips it open and rifles through the contents. It contains an array of survival supplies - as he lifts it out, his eye falls upon a stack of cans marked "Water.
He throws a few on the raft. He grabs a couple of boxes marked "Baked Wheat Biscuits. The biscuits are so dry that he is barely able to chew them - crumbs fall from his lips into the supply hatch.
A rat skitters out from under the tarp, grabbing biscuit crumbs, then retreating. A low growl. Richard Parker charges out from his den and bounds onto the tarp. Pi staggers in terror and falls helplessly into the storage bench, with only his head poking out above the tarp.
The tiger steps toward Pi, then hesitates - again, the softness of the tarp unnerves him. He steps back off the tarp and paces the stern. Pi creeps out of the storage bench - then watches in horror as Richard Parker swivels and charges him again, this time beneath the tarp. The rat scurries back out of hiding and Richard Parker's head follows, looming up out from the gap between the tarp and the storage bench. Pi jumps onto the tarp, out of the tiger's reach. Richard Parker scrambles backward and reappears at the far end of the tarp, roaring, prepared to attack from above - then halts, watching in astonishment as the rat hops around the lifeboat, finally running up Pi's shirt and landing on Pi's head.
Pi grabs the rat by the tail and throws it. The rat sails, paws and tail stretched wide, across the boat. Richard Parker opens his mouth and the rat flies in, its tail disappearing between the tiger's lips like a spaghetti noodle. As Richard Parker enjoys his treat, Pi climbs backward over the bow, unhooking the rope, grabbing the water cans and the biscuits and slipping over the side, falling into the water. He drops onto the raft and pushes himself back with his feet.
The raft floats back and hits the end of the ropeline with a jerk. Pi remembers the rope and goes back to untie it. Suddenly Richard Parker appears at the bow and lunges at him, almost falling off the front of the lifeboat onto Pi. The tiger scrambles back onto the boat and off the tarp, while Pi paddles the raft away.
When he is finally at a safe distance, fear and stress overwhelm Pi - he throws up what little food and water he has taken. Pi floats behind the lifeboat, weeping, surrounded by nothing but terror and the abyss.
A thick range of clouds moves in, threatening to cut off the light from the moon and stars. Pi watches Richard Parker on the lifeboat, a shadowy silhouette on the bow ahead. The tiger takes the zebra carcass under the tarp.
The clouds blot out the sky. Darkness envelops them. Pi has taken out his pencil and now writes on the back page of his survival manual, his voice heard over: I have been in a shipwreck.
I am on a lifeboat alone - with a tiger. Please send help. He tosses it as far as possible; the can splashes down, rippling the water, then bobs, going nowhere. Pi stares at the bobbing can, crushed as he sees the futility of this plan. A defeated pause, and then Pi looks up and sees the majesty of his surroundings. The cloud cover breaks; dawn light glows down on Pi. A grunt from the lifeboat.
Pi turns, surprised. He grabs the tow line and reels into the lifeboat. He lifts the tarp; Richard Parker's eyes glow out at him from the shadows, greeting Pi with a low snarl.
Pi gingerly lowers the tarp and casts the raft back from the bow. He looks up. I give myself to you. I am your vessel. Whatever comes I want to know. Show me. The foldout map of the manual shows the ocean's currents, longitudes, latitudes, and depths. Pi stares at the chart, bewildered by it all. He rises up on his knees, looking out at the ocean around him, then sits back, hand to forehead.
PI There are no lines! Establish a strict schedule for eating, keeping watch and getting rest. Do not drink urine or sea water. Keep busy, but avoid unnecessary exertion. The mind can be kept occupied by playing card games, Twenty Questions, or I Spy. Community singing is another sure- fire way to lift the spirits. Telling stories is highly recommended.
Above all, don't lose hope. A96 EXT. The waves pick up. The lifeboat rocks. Somewhere beneath the tarp, the tiger lets out a faint groan of discomfort.
On Pi as he contemplates this Waves are more strongly felt when a boat turns sideways to the current. A sea anchor is used as a drag to keep the boat's head to the wind. Pi takes a sea anchor from inside his life ring and tosses it overboard. As soon as the sea anchor has been deployed, the raft slows down and the anchor lines go taut. For castaways who must share their lifeboats with large dangerous carnivores it's advisable to establish a territory as your own.
The following course of action is recommended. Step one: Step two: Step three: With sufficient repetition, the animal will associate the sound of the whistle with the discomfort of seasickness. Similar methods have long been used by circus trainers, though they generally lack access to rough seas. He reels in this line, turning the boat sideways to the waves. The rocking increases. Pi blows the whistle several times harshly "warning" signal as the rocking increases.
From within the boat, he hears the tiger groan. He grabs the original lifeline that connects the raft to the boat and hauls himself in. Pi grins, spits out the whistle. Let the trumpets blare, let the drum rolls begin! Prepare to be amazed! Here it is, for your enjoyment and instruction, the show you've been waiting for all your life will soon begin!
Well, then - I give to you Pi lets go of the second line, raising his hand with a flourish. He pulls the raft next to the tarp end of the lifeboat.
The tiger crawls out from under the tarp, violently ill. Hello, Richard Parker. Sorry about the choppy ride. Pi pulls himself onto the bow. Richard Parker tries to lift his head, then groans, giving it up. Pi lifts the whistle to his mouth and blows it repeatedly as he advances to the front edge of the tarp, opens his fly and pisses in a straight line across the midpoint of the boat. He blows his whistle You understand? He steps back to observe the effect of this provocation on the seasick tiger.
Richard Parker staggers to the edge of the tarp. He takes a deep sniff and winces, groaning, his tongue hanging out in distaste. The tiger turns away from Pi, facing the stern. Pi thinks the battle is won - until the tiger lifts his tail and sprays him with a tremendous burst of urine.
A97 EXT. Pi bends down to suck fresh water from the straw that protrudes from a water still, delighted to discover that it works. He carefully pours some of the water into a can for himself, then pours the rest into a bucket. B97 EXT. Richard Parker sticks his head out from under the tarp. PI Here, Richard Parker. I've got some water for you. Pi blows the whistle once more, casting the raft adrift again. Richard Parker sniffs, then begins lapping greedily at the water.
PI VO In the zoo, we fed our tigers an average of five kilos of meat a day. Richard Parker will be getting hungry soon. He tosses the hook and biscuit onto the water - the hook sinks, leaving the crumble of biscuit floating uselessly on the surface. Pi watches helplessly as fish rise to the surface to nibble at the soggy crumbs. Tigers are powerful swimmers, and, if he gets hungry enough, I'm afraid the little bit of water between us won't be any protection.
I need to find a way to feed him. God made tigers carnivores, so I must learn to catch fish. If I don't, I'm afraid his last meal will be a skinny vegetarian boy. Pi thinks a moment. He takes off one of his shoes, using the knife to cut a sliver of leather off the side. He presses the hook through the leather and tosses it in the water. Pi pulls in his fishing line - the leather is gone. Richard Parker, watching, mops at his jaw to wipe away drool - he's clearly getting hungry.
PI Patience! Richard Parker stares in the water at the dorado. He leans over the side of the boat, pawing hungrily at the surface as fish streak past - but the fish elude him. Richard Parker leans out further, striking with both paws - and finally jumps in altogether. Richard Parker strikes and splashes as fish streak past. Pi grins at the tiger's predicament - but the moment Richard Parker realizes he can't climb back aboard, he begins swimming toward the raft.
Pi snaps to, recognizing the danger he's in. He reels the raft over to the lifeboat, practically leaping onto the bow. As he hauls the raft aboard, Richard Parker manages to catch the netting on the raft with one paw.
Pi leans back against an oar with all his weight, trying to lever the raft aboard; the weight of the tiger tips the entire bow lower in the water. Pi is about to lose the struggle when the tiger's claw rips through the netting, and the lifeboat springs back up in the water; the momentum flips the raft up onto the boat.
Pi turns, watching as Richard Parker swims up behind him alongside the bow. He digs into the supply box and rises with a hatchet in his hand, crossing to stand over the tiger and blowing the whistle threateningly. Pi pumps the axe a few times, but cannot bring himself to kill the tiger. Richard Parker stares up at Pi a long moment, then paddles to the stern, trying once again to pull himself aboard at the other end of the boat.
PI What am I doing? Pi kicks at the side of the boat in frustration, and is surprised to hear a metal clunk. He finds a rectangular aluminum air box used for bouyancy: Pi then pulls the tarp back fully for the first time and examines the contents below.
As he removes one of the floorboard panels, imagining new uses for the wooden slats, he hears Richard Parker scratching at the hull of the boat. He points a flashlight beam over the side at the exhausted Richard Parker, the tiger's face and whiskers just above the surface of the water, scratching at the side of the boat.
Pi backs to the other end of the boat, pushing his raft into the water with one hand as he rocks the boat to help Richard Parker climb in. The moment the tiger is aboard, Pi climbs onto the raft and pushes off, retreating to safety, blowing the whistle to remind Richard Parker who's in command.
As he floats away, Pi collapses, exhausted, on the raft. A EXT. B EXT. The empty banana netting now drapes beneath the raft; Pi notices that dorado are attracted to the net and gets an idea.