Max is a genius mathematician who's built a supercomputer at home that provides something that can be understood as a key for understanding all existence. Representatives both from a Hasidic cabalistic sect and high-powered Wall Street firm hear of that secret and attempt to seduce him.Written by
Several times in the movie the numbers following a decimal place are called "integers". Integers are always whole numbers and never fractions or decimals. See more »
9:13, Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six I did. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly, daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see. But something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache.
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Leonardo DaVinci listed under "Special Thanks" See more »
Dark, Gripping, but Falls Slightly Short on Believability
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.
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