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Fermat's Room (2007)

La habitación de Fermat (original title)
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Four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a ... See full summary »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Galois
Elena Ballesteros ...
Oliva
...
Hilbert
Santi Millán ...
Pascal
...
Fermat
...
Girl
San Yélamos ...
Girl
Alicia Fernández ...
Girl
Cesc Cornet ...
Boy
...
Boy
Adam Nached ...
Boy
Josep Minguell ...
Doctor
Helena Carrión ...
Librarian
Maria Piedrahita ...
Fermat's Daughter
Víctor Benjumea ...
Gas Station Attendant
Edit

Storyline

Four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a shrinking room that will crush them if they do not discover in time what connects them all and why someone might wish to murder them. Written by Luis Piedrahita & Rodrigo Sopeña

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Piensa o muere (Think or die) See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 2007 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

A Sala de Fermat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The red wallpaper pattern and the interface of the PDA resemble the layout of the room when seen from overhead, the same as the diagram drawn on the blackboard to figure out how to put the shelves together. See more »

Goofs

Oliva Sabuco is said to have died at age 26. Although the exact date of her death is unknown, she was approximately 60 years old at the time of her death. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Galois: Do you know what prime numbers are? Because if you don't, you should just leave now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, all accents are added later than the text appears. The character Hilbert is seen doing that continuously during the movie. See more »

Connections

References MacGyver (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Experimentos con gaseosa
Composed by J
Performed by Los Planetas
2003 BMG Music Spain, S.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not as smart as it wants to be but certainly a "thinking man's Saw" with tension in the place of gore
23 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I heard about this film ages ago in Empire Magazine in an article that was really talking it up in regards the use of mathematics as the base for the plot and how smart the film was, like the geek of the school was also the captain of the football team. It was a long time before I got to see it for myself but I was looking forward to it because the article had made me interested in it. In reality the film is not this math and theory heavy film that the magazine had suggested because, although it does use this as its base, it is quite superficially done. This sounds like a criticism but it is not because the veneer of maths makes the film feel smarter and the novelty makes it feel more engaging and it works because it draws the viewer into the world without making one feel like an idiot for not being a genius mathematician. What it then builds on this is essentially a Saw movie but aimed at those who long ago gave up on that franchise for simply being one cruel gory sequence after another.

The plot is engaging because it doesn't give you a gory release but rather keeps the pressure mounting in the same way as the moving walls keep the pressure mounting on the characters. Instead it gives you the overall mystery of why the characters are in the room and who put them in there but also keeps things pressurised by throwing puzzles at the characters as they move along. These puzzles do have an element of "magazine puzzler" about them rather than being mathematical formulae but again this keeps the film accessible for the viewer. OK the puzzles are maybe a bit in contrast with this bed of mathematics but the general tension of the film stops you picking holes in this regard. Meanwhile the walls keep closing and the characters are constantly reacting to the pressure, while the audience do the same. I'm not sure how many repeat viewings it would stand up to and, to be honest, I'm not totally sure that the whole plot would stand up in the cold light of day either but what it works the tension really well so that, on your fist viewing, it is a gripping and engaging affair.

The director makes very good use of the room, always managing to make us feel like we are in there even as the room shrinks. There are also a couple of cool shots such as the couple of times the camera looks from directly above, pulling away to show things in a different way. The cast are a driving force within the film. OK perhaps their reactions are not always totally realistic within the context of the situation but they are almost always realistic by virtue of how well they deliver. As the pressure mounts in the room they do a good job of showing it and they stay reasonably true to their characters. Are they Oscar-winning performances? Well, no, but they are very good at doing what the film demands and doing their bit to add to and increase the tension which is what hooks the viewer.

Fermat's Room is not a brilliant film because it is not without its flaws but it covers them really well by delivering in the key area of tension. The concept is simple but effective and is built on by several layers of mystery and good performances; these suck the viewer in and prevent you picking too many holes while you are watching it. Comparing it to the Saw franchise is perhaps not a fair comparison because the two are only similar in concept but it does make for an easy tag because Fermat's Room is a smarter and more enjoyable version of the Saw movies – with real tension instead of just gore, it engages the audience rather than trying to gross them out and we care about the characters rather than just wishing to see how they are killed. It is perhaps not as smart as it would like to be but it is still an enjoyable and engaging film.


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