I don't know why there's no reply; it's a truly magnificent movie! Perhaps more than half of it is out at sea with a very small cast of one human actor and several animal ones -- zebra,hyena, orangutan, tiger, flying fish, tuna, sharks. Like the Old Man and the Sea, that in itself is a remarkable achievement.
Once an unbelievable story about a young man managing to tame an extremely hungry, totally cornered, storm-traumatized, tiger has been made believable, the possibility emerges, at the end of the movie, that he was the tiger, the orangutan was his mother, the hyena was a nasty ship cook (played by Depardieu), that it had all been about a desperate human fight for survival in a life boat.
Two different versions, the first of which also involved a magic but dangerous unknown island that emerges out of nowhere when the two last survivors are about to perish at sea. Neither of these stories really mattered as an explanation for the loss of that ship. "Which story do you believe?," he asks at the end