The Life of Pi
The Life of Pi would be my pick for a movie that has changed my thinking and course of life overall. A movie about an Indian man who is the son of a Zookeeper, when the boat carrying his family, some sailors, and all the animals suddenly wrecks and begins to sink you follow him into his story of survival. Stuck on a boat with an ape, an injured zebra, a crazed hyena, and a tiger he survives for 220 days using the well being of the tiger as a means to push forward. He has constant tests and tribulations facing him throughout the movie, from all the animals but the tiger dying to losing all his food, to even finding a carnivorous island. This movie was a spiritual inspiration to me because Pi believed that the signs he saw and every experience he had were signs from God and things he had to understand only through living them.
However, the ending of the movie is what has gripped most everyone I know who has seen it, including myself. Be warned, this is the movie's ending, if you have not seen it please don't read anymore.
When Pi finally reaches a beach in Mexico he crawls onto the sand famished with his tiger. The tiger walks off into the jungle without a second thought to Pi, breaking his heart. You next see Pi in the hospital talking to two Japanese men, insurance agents who were contracted to find out why the boat sank. He tells them everything, the animals, the tiger, the island full of meercats that would eat anyone who stayed there long enough. Of course, the two men don't believe him and want him to tell them the truth. So he sits up, he tells them that on his boat were a sailor, a cook, and his mother all representing the different animals on the boat. The cook was the horrendous crazed hyena who ended up killing the sailor and the mother, or the zebra and the ape. Pi, being the tiger was forced to kill the cook for his own means of survival. Describing this horrendously evil man being so tainting that those same feelings spread into Pi.
The end is of course left to interpretation of which you believe really happened. Did he experience this journey with the animals? Were they a coping mechanism for his means of survival? In all, the lesson I took from it was that you have to respect all forms of life, that we as humans are no more savage than any of our surroundings, that we are all part of a life force.