A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
In Canada, a writer visits the Indian storyteller Pi Patel and asks him to tell his life story. Pi tells the story of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, and the origin of his nickname. One day, his father, a zoo owner, explains that the municipality is no longer supporting the zoo and he has hence decided to move to Canada, where the animals the family owns would also be sold. They board on a Japanese cargo ship with the animals and out of the blue, there is a storm, followed by a shipwrecking. Pi survives in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker. They are adrift in the Pacific Ocean, with aggressive hyena and Richard Parker getting hungry. Pi needs to find a way to survive.
An aspiring Canadian author interviews the Indian storyteller Pi Patel to hear the firsthand account of his adventures. Pi recounts his upbringing in French-occupied India, where his father owned a zoo. When Pi’s family business fails, they embark on a sea voyage to Canada to begin a new life. One night aboard their Japanese cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, a violent and deadly storm hits and sinks nearly all that Pi holds dear. He survives in a lifeboat with several of their zoo animals, including a fearsome Bengal tiger. In a struggle to survive, Pi and the tiger forge an unexpected connection that gives him daily motivation to live. Life of Pi is a tale of faith, hope, and the fight to survive.