It’s been a while since we heard from Robert Pattinson. The English actor, model, and producer spent a lot of time working in between movies, taking care of his two kids, and trying to stay low-profile. But now that he’s resumed our screens with the critically acclaimed film, Life of Pi, it feels like he’s back with a bang.

The drama, which sees him play a version of himself, follows the story of Pi (Suraj Sharma), a young Indian boy who gets stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger, a leopard, and a lion. Together, they survive a harrowing ordeal at sea that brings them face-to-face with death.

In addition to the praise he’s been receiving for his portrayal of an autistic savant, Pi is also becoming one of the most popular films among students on TikTok. One of the reasons behind its appeal is that it’s one of the rare films that doesn’t offer easy answers. Instead, the viewer is forced to think outside of the box and come up with their own theoretical answers to the question: How does Pi survive such an ordeal? The mystery has kept audiences enthralled, and it’s likely that it will do the same for young viewers.

A Life Less Ordinary

We’re used to seeing Hollywood A-listers portray characters we’d normally associate with a stereotype. Whether it’s the slick, rich kid in a hoodie or the entitled, spoilt child of a celebrity, we’ve all seen these ‘types’ in movies before. But in Life of Pi, we’re treated to something different. Here, Pattinson plays a version of himself that is, in many ways, an ordinary guy – a young man trying to make a living, raise his family, and enjoy life the best he can. We get to see the challenges he faces as an actor, and it makes us appreciate what he’s been going through more.

But it’s not just about the character. The way the actors have been performing their parts has also been exceptional. At first, we might think that having to play a character with special needs would be a setback to Suraj Sharma’s acting career. Especially as he’s had to play the part for so long. But having spent so much time with Pi, we learn that Sharma actually fits the role much better than anyone could have anticipated. The young actor owns the part, and he makes us believe in Pi’s mental faculties to the utmost.

The same can be said for the rest of the cast. Especially when you consider that, in real life, almost all of them are related to one another by blood or marriage. It makes you realize that, although this might look like a dysfunctional family on-screen, they actually work well together. This is, in part, thanks to the script by David Magee, which he co-wrote with Eric Bunch. Magee, whose previous credits include the original screenplay for Dunkirk, has created something that feels both fresh and familiar. Like many great horror stories, Life of Pi is, in part, about confronting your fears. In Magee’s case, he’s helping us face the fact that being in a lifeboat with a bunch of animals is probably not something that you want to experience. Even if they’re not exactly the kind of animals you’d normally fear.

A Film To Be Reckoned With

Based on Yann Martel’s 2001 Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi is not only beautifully shot and acted, it is also a unique story that doesn’t easily lend itself to a film treatment. Martel’s book is set in a distant world where animals and humans live side-by-side. It is a story of survival, but it’s also about the nature of faith and believing in something that doesn’t seem to make sense. It is a story about asking questions and not having easy answers. This is what makes Life of Pi so special. And it is a film that deserves to be talked about for years to come.