You haven't lived until you’ve taken the Life of Pi trivia quiz


By: Julie Medina

4 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

A cargo ship full of animals. A storm at sea. A 16-year-old boy tries to survive a shipwreck in which his family dies, while adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Take an incredible journey with the "Life of Pi" trivia quiz.

How does the viewer learn about Pi's story?

In Canada, novelist Yann Martel meets Pi Patel, who he has been told has a life story that would be a good subject for a book. Pi tells his story to Yann. Rafe Spall portrayed Yann Martel, the actual Canadian novelist who wrote Life of Pi and many other excellent novels.


Pi's full name is Piscine Molitor. What is he named after?

Pi's father names him Piscine Molitor after the swimming pool in France. Pi’s uncle was so impressed by the Picine Molitor, with the clearest water, that he told Pi's father that if one day his son would swim in this pool, his soul would be pure. Instead of having his son swim in it, Pi’s father named Pi after the pool.


What is Piscine Patel called in school?

As Pi describes it, “With one word, my name went from an elegant French swimming pool to a stinking Indian latrine - I was pissing everywhere.” The 5-year-old Pi is portrayed by Gautam Belur, who has only starred in Life of Pi thus far, as of 2017.


How does Piscine get schoolmates and teachers to call him Pi?

In secondary school in Pondicherry, he adopts the name "Pi" (the Greek letter, π) to avoid the sound-alike nickname "Pissing Patel." When his name is called for attendance, he impresses teachers and schoolmates with his knowledge of “Pi” and how it relates to each subject he is studying. His last class is mathematics and he astounds the crowd by memorizing “Pi” out to a great number of digits.


Why does Pi follow Hindu religious practices, Christianity and Islam?

He is raised in a Hindu family with both vegetarian and non-vegetarians. However, at 12 years old, he is introduced to Christianity and then Islam, and decides to follow all three religions as he "just wants to love God." Ayush Tandon portrays Pi at age 11 and 12. Tandon stars in both Bollywood and Hollywood films.


What does Pi's family own?

Pi's family owns a zoo that replaced the Botanical Gardens. Pi’s mother worked at the gardens, and then, after meeting and marrying Pi’s father, she worked at the zoo. The zoo scenes were filmed at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan.


Who is Richard Parker?

Pi takes interest in a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After Pi gets dangerously close to Richard Parker, his father forces him to witness the tiger killing a goat. He tells Pi, “When you look into an animal's eyes, you are seeing your own emotions reflected back at you, and nothing else.”


What country will Pi’s family travel to so they can sell the animals and settle into a new life?

When Pi is 16, he learns he must move to Canada, as that’s where the family will get a good price for their animals and then live there. Suraj Sharma, who portrays Pi, won the role after 3,000 young men auditioned for the film's lead. This 17-year-old student, an acting newcomer, was trained in ocean survival, yoga and meditation for the part.


There is trouble with the cook on board the Japanese freighter. What happens?

When they gather for dinner, the cook refuses to serve them a vegetarian meal and there is almost a fist fight between Pi’s father and the cook. The cook is portrayed by Gérard Depardieu, one of the most prolific actors in French film history, having completed approximately 170 movies since 1967.


Who says this to Pi? “Don't tempt a storm, Pi.”

Pi wakes his brother during a thunderstorm asking him to go watch it with him. But Ravi refuses, so Pi goes out on deck himself. When the ship takes on water, a crew member throws Pi into a lifeboat. Ravi is portrayed by Vibish Sivakumar, known for "Beta" and "Beta: Come Home."


In the animal version of Pi’s story, which animals survive the storm and the sinking of the ship?

Pi appears to be the only survivor, but it turns out Richard Parker survives as well. The tiger jumps on the lifeboat that is holding Pi, the zebra and the hyena. The orangutan joins later. The crew built a giant wave tank to film the ocean scenes. The tank has self-generating waves with a capacity of 1.7 million gallons of water.


What is wrong with the zebra?

A freed zebra jumps onto the boat with Pi, breaking its leg as it lands. Did you know the tank where the ocean scenes are filmed can also create storm clouds and nightfall? According to the cinematographer, Claudio Miranda, “We had curtains that I can block out [light], doors to open and let in real sunlight."


What happens to the number of animals in the lifeboat after the storm is over?

After the storm, the hyena kills the zebra and later the orangutan. Now only Richard Parker, the hyena and Pi are left on the lifeboat. The 16-year-old Pi is portrayed by Suraj Sharma, an Indian actor, who is also known for his work on "Homeland," "Million Dollar Arm," "Umrika" and "Burn Your Maps."


How did Richard Parker get his name?

Due to a mix-up in the paperwork, the hunter’s name became the tiger’s name and vice versa. The name stuck. Did you know that Suraj Sharma, who played Pi, was never actually in the boat with a live tiger? From motion capture to filming, four real tigers were used in the production.


How does the hyena die in the animal story?

Richard Parker kills the hyena, and now only Pi and Richard Parker are left. Do you recall the scene where the tiger can't get back onto the boat from the water? A real tiger was used for that scene. But that was rare -- most scenes were digital effects.


How does Pi manage to stay alive while stranded with Richard Parker?

Pi builds a small raft from flotation vests. He not only found the floatation vests, he found biscuits and water. He was also smart enough to tie the raft to the boat so that he would never be far from supplies.


What else does he find in the supplies?

The book on survival instruction found in the lifeboat offers very humorous advice, such as, tell stories to pass the time or play cards. Which is hard without cards and your only companion wants to eat you. Did you know Sharma, who plays Pi, was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award?


How does Pi keep from starving?

Realizing a few feet of water may not dissuade a hungry tiger, Pi starts fishing to feed himself and Richard Parker. Did you know Ang Lee hired a nautical consultant, Steven Callahan, who survived 76 days adrift on a rubber lifeboat in the Atlantic?


How does Pi lose all his supplies and the raft?

An adult humpback whale can weigh up to 66,000 pounds. When it breaches near the boat, it destroys both raft and supplies.


Without a raft, what must Pi do?

Using tuna chunks, Pi trains Richard Parker to share the boat. Did you know that during an intense wave scene, Sharma had no contact with the crew? To communicate, the crew used a loud air horn — one blast meant "cut" and two meant "go again."


When Pi and Richard Parker are just about dead from starvation and dehydration, what happens?

A floating island of interconnected trees appears just as Pi and Richard Parker are about to expire. The island was filmed partly at a Taiwanese botanical reserve and then enhanced with digital effects.


What is so strange about the island?

With enough food and water to consume, Pi and Richard Parker regain their strength. There is much discussion whether the island's silhouette looks like a man lying on his back, Vishnu, Buddha, a sarcophagus or a woman. According to the author, the island means what you choose to see in it.


What is the impetus for Pi to leave the island?

The human tooth found in a flower makes Pi believe the island is evil and that if he stays, the island will consume him as well. The island isn’t the only scene with amazing visual effects -- the FX crew used bioluminescence to light the whale and inside its mouth.


When Pi and Richard Parker finally reach land, where do they end up?

Pi and Richard Parker eventually reach the coast of Mexico. Pi is too exhausted to move from the boat, but Richard Parker walks into the jungle, never looking back. The scenes on the Mexican beach were filmed at Kenting Baisha Bay, Taiwan.


When Pi is brought to the Mexican hospital, who comes to see him?

Pi is brought to a hospital where insurance agents for the Japanese freighter company interview him. You may recognize the older insurance agent as James Saito, an actor, known for "The Devil's Advocate," "Big Eyes" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," to name a few.


What is the story that Pi tells the insurance agents when they don’t believe him?

Pi tells them another version of the story where the cook killed the sailor and his mother, and then Pi killed the cook and fed on his flesh until he reached Mexico. The younger insurance agent is Jun Naito, an actor and producer, known for "Daredevil" and "30 Rock."


Who is reading this? “Mr. Patel's is an astounding story, courage and endurance unparalleled in the history of ship-wrecks. Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.”

Pi leaves it up to the insurance agents to choose the story they will file. They have chosen to believe the one with animals. Did you know Tobey Maguire was originally cast as the Writer? Though his scenes were already filmed, Ang Lee replaced Maguire because he felt Maguire’s screen presence would be too distracting among the newcomers and those less-celebrated actors.


What does the adult Pi ask the Writer once his story is told?

The adult Pi wants to know which story the writer prefers. The writer, like the insurance agents, prefers the story with animals. The adult Pi is portrayed by Irfan Khan, an Indian film actor who is recognized as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema for his versatile and natural acting.


Who says this? "Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching.”

The adult Pi says this, referring to the island that saved him and Richard Parker. Irrfan Khann, the adult Pi, received the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honor, for his contribution to the field of art.


What other films has Ang Lee directed?

Ang Lee has directed all of the above and many other films. From the martial arts ballet of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to the backcountry grandeur of "Brokeback Mountain," he has brought his unique vision to each story. In "Life of Pi," the director raised the bar on technical achievements.


What did the critics think of the film?

The film received positive reviews from critics. It has an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on the reviews it monitors. Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is an amazing 3D adaptation of a supposedly "unfilmable" book.


What did the fans think of the film?

The audience gave "Life of Pi" a lower rating than the critics, with an 84% (rather than 87%) rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On a budget of $120 million, "Life of Pi" was a huge financial success, earning $609 million in box office sales.


How many Academy Award nominations did the film receive?

"Life of Pi" was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (more than any other film from 2012). The filmed earned awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score.


In which of these categories did the film receive Golden Globe nominations?

"Life of Pi" was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and won for Best Original Score. The score also won a Grammy Award for the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.


Which of these accolades did "Life of Pi" receive?

"Life of Pi" was listed on many critics' top ten lists. In addition to the above, the film was also named one of the top ten films of the year by the New York Film Critics and the Southeastern Film Critics.


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