These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Life of Pi
Acceptable Religious Targets: Pi respects and admires his strictly atheistic teacher, and devoutly practices Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. However, he heaps all of his scorn on agnostics, viewing them as doubters who lack the resolve to pick a side.
Award Snub: Actually an award speech snub: the visual effects team were planning to include a statement about the hard times many special effects companies are going through, even as their work is being used more than ever, but were cut off by the Jaws theme. This led to a hundreds-strong protest.
Averted by the film itself, which took home more Oscars than any other film released that year - including the Oscar Bait.
More upsettingly, Suraj Sharma, who played Pi, did not get nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor. This despite the fact that he practically carried the entire film on his shoulders, acting opposite a green screen to convince audiences that he was staring down a tiger, and starved himself and isolated himself from other people to get into character.
Mr. Okamoto: We have no proof they were meerkat bones. Mr. Chiba:Maybe they were banana bones! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Mr. Okamoto:Atsuro, Shut up! Mr. Chiba:I'm very sorry, Okamoto-san. It's the fatigue. Mr. Okamoto:You're bringing our service into disrepute! Mr. Chiba:Very sorry, Okamoto-san.
Fridge Brilliance: At first glance, the meerkats on the island sleeping on trees seem to be a clear example of Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying, because those animals actually live in burrows. But from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes perfect sense: Imagine a bunch of meerkats by some means arriving on the island. Those who show their normal behavior of creating burrows quickly get devoured by the island, and only a few, showing the abnormal behavior of climbing on trees, survive. Those are the ancestors of the current meerkat population Pi encounters. That's how natural selection works! ( Of course, the point is moot if Pi just made everything up.)
Fridge Horror: Pi's second story accounts for all the characters and events that happened in the first story, except for one: the island. Except, it does. If you choose to believe the second story, then what happened is that Pi found one of the other survivors' teeth in the boat, probably the cook's.
The carnivorous island Pi finds himself on sort of resembles a dead body from afar in the film. The roots from the trees could represent human veins, and the meerkats could represent maggots.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Pi was mocked as a child for having a name that could be mispronounced as "Pissing." When he's lost at sea and quarreling with Richard Parker, he actually does piss to mark his territory and show him who's in charge. That does not end well for him.
Unfortunate Implications: The two stories paradox basically suggests that the religious side is delusional and clinging on to a pleasant reality while the atheist side is fundamentally nihilistic.
The two French characters are brutal, cannibalistic savages. That is, if they were separate characters. In the alternate story they're hinted to be the same guy. In the animal story the cook might have not even existed.