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Pi (1998)

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A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director:

Darren Aronofsky
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Popularity
3,888 ( 119)
8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Gullette ... Maximillian Cohen
Mark Margolis ... Sol Robeson
Ben Shenkman ... Lenny Meyer
Pamela Hart Pamela Hart ... Marcy Dawson
Stephen Pearlman ... Rabbi Cohen
Samia Shoaib Samia Shoaib ... Devi
Ajay Naidu ... Farrouhk
Kristyn Mae-Anne Lao ... Jenna
Espher Lao Nieves Espher Lao Nieves ... Jenna's Mom
Joanne Gordon Joanne Gordon ... Mrs. Ovadia
Lauren Fox ... Jenny Robeson
Stanley B. Herman ... Moustacheless Man (as Stanley Herman)
Clint Mansell Clint Mansell ... Photographer
Tom Tumminello Tom Tumminello ... Ephraim
Henri Falconi Henri Falconi ... Kaballah Scholar
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

3.14159265358 See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Live Entertainment

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3.14159265358 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,069, 12 July 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,216,970, 29 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Darren Aronofsky's feature directorial debut. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Maximillian Cohen: 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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Crazy Credits

Leonardo DaVinci listed under "Special Thanks" See more »

Connections

References Scanners (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Drippy
(Banco De Gaia) ©1997 The Ultimate Recording Co. Ltd.
Performed by Banco De Gaia
Courtesy of Mammoth Records/Planet Dog Records/The Ultimate Co. Ltd.
Written by Toby Marks (ASCAP)
Published by Notting Hill Music/Wanton Music
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User Reviews

 
Dark, Gripping, but Falls Slightly Short on Believability
2 May 2000 | by Rob@homeSee all my reviews

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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