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Movie Review: Pi

Posted on April 24, 2007

PiIt’s simply amazing that I had not seen this film until now. It had been on my list for years and I had heard great things but other films kept trumping it in my Netflix queue for some reason. Now that I have seen it I can say with certainty that Darren Aronofsky (also of Requiem for a Dream) did an outstanding job on this film.

Pi is an in depth and quite poignant look into both science and obsession. Maximillian Cohen (Sean Gullette), a brilliant mathematician, is our hero in the film. He is fanatical in his belief that everything in nature can be explained with numbers. He cites things like the golden ratio throughout the film as evidence of this.

With this belief in hand and a homemade computer that consumes his small New York apartment he begins to ponder the stock market. He hypothesizes that it is an organism just like any other and that he should be able to find a mathematical code that will crack it.

Looking for this code, a 216 digit number based in Pi, takes Max to some dark places both inside his head and out and we get to witness it all in black and white with jarring camera work all accompanied with a soundtrack that I saw described as an audible fractal (that’s a great description - via IMDB).

This film will leave you gasping for air and praying for it to stop. It’s uncanny how well Aronofsky pulls the viewer in. I felt physically disturbed at points in this movie which rarely happens. This is one example where all of the cinematic elements like the black and white footage, the soundtrack and the jagged camera work all make the movie much more compelling. They aren’t just done “for fun” so-to-speak.

Bottom line: This is a must watch film. It will give you a view into insanity you’ll appreciate but may never want to see again.

Side note: If you have seen Requiem for a Dream you’ll notice the “drug taking” sequences are shot in almost exactly the same manner.

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