However, the film's juxtaposition of the animal story and the human story has led many moviegoers to view the last-minute plot point as a finite "twist" - which was not the original intention of Martel (with the book) or very likely Lee (with the film).
Viewers have pointed to the look of anguish on Pi's face during his telling of the human story in the film as "proof" that he was uncomfortable facing the true horror of his experience.
Or are you a person that prefers to believe in miracles/take things on faith?
There are no right or wrong answers - just an opportunity for introspection.
As a result, the larger question is impossible to answer definitively and, as mentioned, the "truth" of Pi's story is of little concern to Martel or Lee.
The real question is - which story do you, the viewer/reader prefer?Pi does not mention his other adventures at sea (the carnivorous island, etc) but it'd be easy to strip away some of the fantastical elements in favor of more grounded (albeit allegorical) situations.Maybe he found an island but realized that living is more than just eating and existing - deciding to take his chances at sea instead of wasting away in apathy on a beach eating meerkats all alone.Interpretation is subjective but the question is intended to serve as a moment of theological reflection.Are you a person that prefers to believe in things that always make sense/things that you can see?After both stories have been shared, Pi leaves it up to the viewer (or reader) to decide which version they "prefer." Personal "preference" has larger thematic meaning, when viewed in the context of the overarching story; however, before we analyze the ending (via the question) in greater detail, we're going to briefly lay out the two versions of Pi's story.In both accounts, Pi's father contracts a Japanese ship to transport his family, along with a number of their zoo animals, from India to Canada in an effort to escape political upheaval in their native country.After some time, fearing for the limited supplies in the boat, the cook kills the weakened Japanese sailor, and later, Gita.Scarred from watching his mother die in front of his eyes, Pi kills the cook in a moment of self-preservation (and revenge).When the lifeboat makes landfall along the Mexican coast, Pi and Richard Parker are once again malnourished - as Pi collapses on the beach, he watches the Bengal Tiger disappear into the jungle without even glancing back.Pi is brought to a hospital - where he tells the animal story to the Japanese officials.