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|Index||575 reviews in total|
The credits came as a welcome relief. This is the first film that had a
physical effect on me... I felt nauseous from about halfway through and
could not bear to watch the awful spinning effects. It was like being on a
childrens round-about. Yechhh!
The black and white effects tried to be arty... it was crap! The audio was terrible. The dialog was meaningless. The technical references bordered on rubbish. The so-called "supercomputer" WAS rubbish. The acting was awful. The storyline was just a jumbled mess. Whoever decided this was a Sci-Fi must have been delirious at the time. Can you see a trend?
Basically this was a really bad film.
I gave it a score of 1 but only because ZERO was not an option.
This movie will only appeal to people who don't care what is actually
on the screen. It's for people who just like to let their mind wander
into some sort of a mathematical/noir/drug-induced mind-trip. And
there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean you're not
intelligent. But for me, I don't like doing that. For me, this movie
was a bunch of nonsense. Total nonsense. I have an electrical
engineering degree with a math minor, so I know something about math.
This movie just takes some equations, number sequences, etc....throws
them up on the screen, and says nature, the stock market, or even God
might be based on these numbers. It's a bunch of nonsense.
But like I say, some people like this movie. They want to let their mind wander, pretending that these numbers might mean something. Add in the black & white, the sickness and mind-trip the main character goes through, the shaking camera, the disturbing music....and I guess you have something that some people like. It's just not for me.
OK, I am certainly not a genius but did graduate from MIT (many years
ago) so am literate enough in math to follow the "logic" of this
movie-- basically I had to suspend disbelief immediately. But, I found
it fun to pretend something might be in the offing by putting
intellectual blinders on for about the first half but it starts to
flatline about 45 minutes from the end. And the ending is a great big
anticlimax---the religious stuff with the ark of the covenant etc....is
just a big giant barf.....with Rosemary's Baby looking Rabbis.
I gave it 7 because they build up the suspense nicely and the bit acting was very good--- I am not sure how you could end a movie like this? for one thing keep the religious cliché garbage completely out of it...or fry the Rabbis...somehow show their way leads to a big boring dead end. Maybe that is what the film was trying to do but it failed.
Well it was definitely different.
The film only hints at the parallels between the Fibonnaci sequence and
Biblical story of Creation. There is much more to be discussed.
At the end of the film, Max was not lobotomizing himself, but performing trepanation.
I do admit it's a more intelligent film than the usual schlock, but from the advertising you're led to believe that this is a brilliant, insightful combination of religion, magic, and mathematics. However, the connection is never really made, only hinted at, and the film is rather like a very yummy appetizer ... without a main course.
I recently had the opportunity to see this again, and this time at the
cinema having previously seen it on video. I have to admit to being
disappointed after the video viewing, but given the attention the big screen
demands the film makes a vastly different impression.
It is most definitely not for everyone, not even all fans of indie films.
Brilliant given the tiny budget, but it gives the impression of being a
short film padded out to feature length. Some of the cinematography is
fantastic, though the grainy images start to wear after a while, and the
soundtrack is outstanding. Ignore the holes in the plot, and the occasional
implausability, and feel the obsession, the paranoia and fear and you'll
probably enjoy it a lot more.
If you have to view it on video do yourself a favour and make sure it is on a big screen, with a decent and loud home theatre set up, with the room dark and the phone off the hook. Get immersed.
Writers Aronofsky and Gullette have crafted a dark, psychological thriller
that centers around, of all things, math and numbers. One would think that
there was no way that this could hold anyone's interest, but they managed to
pull it off. "Pi" reminds us that genius is just this side of madness, and
that great intelligence is a burden as well as a gift.
Gullette plays Max Cohen, the brilliant and tortured mathematician, beautifully and without overacting. His mind seethes with the possibilities that lie waiting inside number systems. However, the strain that his talent places on him results in blinding, hallucinogenic migraines. The scenes where Max falls victim to his ailment are tense, well-directed, and have just the right amount of creepiness.
The one beef that I have with this picture pertains to the other characters who are meant to be the film's antagonists. Two parties - a Wall Street firm and a Hasidic Jewish sect are after Max for his abilities. Neither of these relationships are expanded on enough to make the viewer care about them. Of the two, the sect members are the most believable. However, the stockbrokers and Max's encounters with them scream "film school". The loud-mouthed and overbearing businesswoman is more a parody of "the suits", and doesn't fit in with the rest of the film. You are left thinking that the only reason these characters appeared at all was as a plot device to get Max the parts he needed.
A minor, but nagging point - are we really to believe, in this day and age where nearly everyone has seen the inside of a PC, that Max's super-processor is a black cube with four pins? I saw this film with a bunch of other techie-type folk, and our collective reaction was "he's going to run his calculations on a bridge rectifier?"
All in all, this film is entertaining for those who enjoy offbeat cinema. Those looking for "The Matrix" aren't going to be satisfied at all. Math, science, and computer geeks won't wince too much. Hollywood SFX blockbuster this isn't, but that's not a bad thing. Overall, a good film with a few minor drawbacks.
The atmosphere this movie creates is simply incredible, a masterpiece. It's really worth seeing (assuming you're not somebody that likes Jean Claude Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone. I particularly liked the background sound, at first it's a little bit annoying but it really supports the atmosphere.
I saw this a while back so I really can't give a very concrete review, but
there are a few things I'd like to mention- first of all, yes, the math
involved here is somewhat absurd... oh, but wait a minute, who goes to a
feature film to LEARN ABOUT MATH? I think it's pretty sad that there are
people who are so obsessive about scientific accuracy that it prevents them
from enjoying a brilliant movie not really about math but about PARANOIA. In
fact, this would have been a much lesser movie if the math had made any
sense; it would have made Max's quest justifiable and could easily have
turned this into a sappy Hollywood film (better living through
mathematics/paranoid self-obsession: max figures it all out and makes
millions, retires and marries the woman next door, haha, wouldn't that be
fun?). Instead, it becomes an impressionistic descent into a
half-hallucinated hell, and wow, when you realize what's going on, it is
gripping. The grainy black and white provides the perfect palette for the
film's remarkable, sometimes very frightening images, and the brilliant
techno score by Clint Mansell (formerly of Pop Will Eat Itself) backs up
what is certainly one of the most compelling films I've ever seen.
Well, ok, so the editing is a little too "MTV," but what did you expect?
It is not that this is a bad film, just a bit misguided. I appreciated the story line and the musical score. The performances were very good, especially considering this was low budget; they were able to afford good actors. My main problem with this film was the direction and grainy black and white look. The direction has been done many times before. I, myself, went for the closeups of hands unlocking doors and doing other things in a music video I directed eight years before I saw this. I know this had no budget, but the grainy photography worked against the film. Math is such a pure science, the score is pure synth, so I wanted to see pure, clean pictures. Instead, the graininess was effective, but would have worked better in a different movie. I appreciated what this tried to say, but it was not the total failure others have been saying it is. I give it a 7.
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