La habitación de Fermat (2007) Poster

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7/10
Original and ingeniously basic premise full of suspense and intrigue
ma-cortes13 February 2009
This freaky and clever film chronicles fear , suspicion , desperation , paranoia of four mathematics (Elena Ballesteros , Alejo Sauras , Santi Millan and Luis Homar) completely strangers who are reunited in a Kafkaesque room by a mysterious host named Fermat (Federico Luppi) on the pretext of resolving a great enigma . Each one plays a part in their thrilling quest to find answers to why they've been imprisoned . The widely varying personality characteristics work together utilizing their given abilities and talents to survive the deadly trap which guards the colored room . 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.

The picture succeeds because the thriller , tension , suspense , as well as a superbly written script delving into the human psyche in such extreme situation and ours instinctive urges for survival . Despite its low budget the picture manages to be intelligent , intriguing and thrilling . The good thing about this film is that the directors made it on a shoestring budget only having to do one set , yet the movie works on many levels but is constantly reconfigured . ¨Fermat's room¨ bears special resemblance to ¨The cube¨ (by Vicenzo Natali) , as there's also a dangerously premise about strangers closed attempting to find an exit and resolving enigmas and using their mathematical skills they press forward and backward through the walls to avoid get smashed because the room is reducing itself . Cast is frankly well giving fine performances , though little known with exception the veterans Federico Luppi (Cronos) who holds a strong Argetinean accent and Luis Homar (Backwoods , Los Borgia) . This motion picture relatively cheap was tautly directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña in his first and only movie because they're usually writers for television . This is without a doubt a thought-provoking and mysterious film to be liked for suspense fans , turning out to be one of the most original Spanish movies of the last years . Rating : Better than average .
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8/10
If These Walls Could Stalk...
loogenhausen30 November 2011
Fermat's Room is a welcome Spanish thriller that takes the tried and true Saw/Cube formula and adds some actual intrigue and a little bit of wit to the proceedings. With a slow and steady build to an ending that ties everything up in a rather satisfying way, you'll be asking yourself "why can't most thrillers make this much sense?" Fermat's Room is not original but it puts an interesting and well-written spin on tired plot points and movie gimmicks. Directors Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena have a good sense of space and depth when it comes to shooting in the room itself and the tension and pacing will have you staring at the screen with anticipation. Do yourself a favor and check out Fermat's Room; it just might cleanse your palette of all the junk films floating out there lately.
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Not as smart as it wants to be but certainly a "thinking man's Saw" with tension in the place of gore
bob the moo23 December 2008
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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9/10
Simple but very effective
Tanhausser_Gates26 October 2007
Considering Luis Piedrahita is a famous Spanish comedian, Rodrigo Peña is behind several TV shows and Santi Millan is to Humor what Aleister Crowley was to occultism : The wickedest man on earth, plus this is their first movie experience.. it takes a considerable amount of faith to buy a ticket for a movie like this.

Then they tell you about the subject of the movie: How could a movie with 4 mathematicians locked in a room could be interesting? But there was something really fresh about this gang that made me want to see it.. I guess I like crazy people! First of all.. All the characters are delightfully drawn, like the old "Airport" movies, you are given a background of each one of them until they meet for a curios party: An unknown person hosts a math competition, invitation only, no cellphones or escort allowed.

From that point on you feel like one of the characters discovering the story as it unfolds to them.. There is no way you can imagine what lays ahead and if that were not enough they'll keep you busy with riddles and math games.

Do not fear being abused with dense mathematical issues hardly understandable to anyone, this is for all audiences and will keep you tied to your seat until the end.
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6/10
Intriguing Premise, Disappointing Resolution
Claudio Carvalho22 February 2009
After resolving a test with a sequence of numbers, four mathematicians are challenged by a mysterious man called Fermat (Federico Luppi) to meet in an isolated place to resolve the greatest enigma ever. Each one receives a code name - Hilbert (Lluís Homar), Pascal (Santi Millán ), Galois (Alejo Sauras) and Oliva (Elena Ballesteros) - and heads to a barn in an island. Inside the barn, they find a comfortable room, and sooner their host arrives. They have dinner together and Fermat receives a phone call from the hospital where his daughter in interned in coma. He asks to leave the place for one hour; however, after his departure, the quartet finds that they are locked up in the room. They receive a phone call with a mathematical riddle, giving one minute to their reply; sooner they find that if they do not answer to the questions, the walls move and room shrinks pressed by four Poseidon hydraulic presses. While responding the questions, they try to find the motives why they have been gathered together to be killed.

"La Habitación de Fermat" is another variation of "Cube", with an intriguing premise and a disappointing resolution. The beginning is original, and the suspenseful story works very well until the moment that the identity and motives of the insane murdered are disclosed. Then the plot turns to ridiculous, too complicated for an issue between two men. Would be necessary such expensive and complicated scheme to eliminate a competitor? Further, the fate of Fermat and the policeman is silly and the black humor of the joke with the security belt does not work. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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6/10
Nice, that's all...
James Moriarty23 November 2007
"Fermat's room" ("La habitación de Fermat") is a Spanish thriller, in the spirit of some recent American blockbusters, where maths are supposed to play an important role. But do not expect anything close to "Numbers" in terms of scientific depth. Maths here are only an anecdote.

In fact, this movie is for everyone but mathematicians, who will probably find that the challenges the characters have to face are too trivial and the alleged screw turns of the plot are quite predictable.

The script and the direction are basically OK, but the acting is quite irregular. While Lluís Homar and Santi Millán (especially Santi Millán, who clearly steals the show) are rather convincing and solid, I do not buy Alejo Sauras and Elena Ballesteros as young math geniuses. Maybe it is not all their fault, as their characters are arguably more stereotypical than the other two.

In the end, an entertaining popcorn movie for a rainy fall evening... as long as you do not know enough maths.
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6/10
Not as smart as I expected it to be
mmanas056 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't seen a lot of Spanish movies. However, found this plot so intriguing that decided to give it a try. The first 20 mins or so was decent in building the background story. And the opening scene sets the tone for a movie full of math riddles. Unfortunately it turned out to be a big disappointment after that. The riddles the 4 of them have to solve to stop the room from shrinking, are not math riddles at all. Those are the kind of riddles you probably did in your high school, certainly not the kind of riddles a "math genius" would set for others.

Now about the characters - For couple of them, when they were telling their back story, you would have preferred some flashback scenes. Little bit of character building would have helped. Now for the big plot hole

*Contains Spoiler* So if you have watched the movie, you know that one of the four actually set-up the room and he had a escape route planned. However, I still can't figure out at what point he was planning to escape. The other 3 would ave died only when the room would have crushed them and at that time this guy would have died too. If he was planning to escape earlier, others would have escaped with him. So what was the point of this elaborate planning by supposedly a math genius?

Another small plot hole, some of the answers to the riddles were descriptive and it would have been difficult for the program on the PDA to check the correctness of the answer. For example, how would the program check the correctness of the answer if the reply was in full sentences or broken sentences with incorrect grammar. Except the first two riddles and the one towards the end, answers for all others would have been difficult to verify by an automated program.

Rating it 5 out of 10 for an interesting plot.
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6/10
Has Interesting Moments, but Falls Considerably Short of Its Potential
KissEnglishPasto31 July 2016
........ ... .......... ........... ............ ......... ..from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA...and ORLANDO, FL

Fermat's Room is a Psychological Mystery/Thriller offering from Spain that gets off to a very sure-footed start and seemed to hold out the promise of a very fast-paced and taut film. The story line itself is entertaining enough, but the characters never really flagged my interest. Basically, the chemistry was lacking!

FERMAT certainly did have its moments, but fell considerably short of its potential. It really grabbed me from the opening credits, although hours later a little cerebral ricocheting had me recalling other films that had similar opening credit scenes. Unfortunately, no titles come to mind. If you watch it, let me know if your memory serves you better than mine! Its not often you see a film that is both Co-Directed AND Co-Written by 2 young men (both 30 at the time) from different small towns in Spain.

Luis Piedrahita, who gets top-billing both as Co-Director and Co-Writer, is a real Renaissance man. IMDb lists him as a Writer, Director, Actor, Comedian and award-winning Magician, of all things! Ah, and therein lies the rub! Like its #1 Co-Director, FERMAT is just TOO busy, trying to pack in too much, too quickly, in its 85 minutes! At times, it wants to go in 5 different directions all at once!

To save themselves, four Math prodigies are forced to solve a slew of math problems/riddles. Another reviewer mentioned the problems shift gradually from left(logic) to right (intuitive) brain function...Yes, that's right, but I didn't really get it during the film...and I'm still in higher Math overload! Of course, when it comes to Math, I make Forrest Gump look like Stephen Hawkins!

FERMAT needed another 20 minutes for more character development and to re- work its pace so that viewers could better absorb more of what's going on without feeling so stressed and lost. I liked the name of the boat. Did you catch it?...Pythagoras!

6*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!....
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Every even integer greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two primes.
dbdumonteil21 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
That's Goldbach's conjecture.And that's the starting point of this gripping suspenseful Spanish film.As Amenabar has already shown ,Spain has become the land of the thriller in Europa.

By fusing several elements,the director brings it all back home: the enigmas are borrowed from the "saw" saga (but without any gore and with special effects kept to the minimum);the place reminds me of that of "Cube" ;there are also elements taken from Christie's classic "Ten little Indians" aka "And then there were none" " (guests invited in a remote place,the host is to kill us but actually he is one of us;and of course they have done something wrong before).

Mathematics come to the fore,and you can write down the problems for you won't have plenty of time to solve them.Some of them are classics,as the young math genius points out: the three children and the story of the shepherd,the wolf ,the sheep and the cabbage.All the actors are excellent,and the fact that Lluis Hornar resembles Laurence Olivier makes you sometimes think of "sleuth".

The ending is borrowed from "Le Theoreme du Perroquet" (by Daniel Guedj) another book which blends a detective story and the history of maths.In that book ,they tried to prove a theorem which Andrew Wiles ,an English mathematician finally proved in 1993.That was Fermat's conjecture.

This is a thriller which is to be recommended.
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9/10
top performers x good plot = enjoy with maths!
joan sanchez2 November 2007
Let me say in advance that, even it is a general audience movie it does the best with a bit of maths on the background, but still a very good movie indeed.

The strongest point are the top performances of Lluis Homar and Federico Luppi, finest actors very skilled in theaters and movies, supported by unexpectedly good beginners, Santi, Elena & Alejo, more trained in plain roles of teen comedies and late shows than in cinema, they do quite well and finally you understand why were they chosen for this film.

The plot is atracting from the very beginning, the most of time it goes on real-time action, with a countdown that will kill many of them if several mind games are not achieved. A new shape for a known theme, yes, but it works 100%.

And now the maths class: Every character is playing a role of a great mathematic and both players and characters were selected to fit into that role: Hilbert is an old mathematic devoted to the riddles, Pascal an engineer thinking only on the commercial application of any idea, Fermat an enigmatic person showing no more that what you want to see and Galois a young genoius but not used to think on advance. The life of those people plays a little on the movie. So now you can see what a good selection of players for this roles.

The mathematical riddles are explained easily and with no so much relationship with the main plot so they are not required to be understood to follow the film, but of course is a good point if you do it.

And finally, the Fermat's Last Theorem: It is already demonstrated so don't expect any surprise on this movie. But if you want, you can take a look to the Goldbach's Conjecture, maybe it helps.
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5/10
Potential, but Generic
MattBirk2 March 2015
Unfortunately Fermat's Room adds nothing new to the idea of trapping a group of people in a single room and having them slowly piece together how they know one another. The general premise of course sounds interesting (at least to me) a shrinking room and four mathematicians must solve their way out. But the problem begins right there, they are only given one minute per question, which makes it damn near impossible for the audience to keep up. Not to mention when they begin to work out the problems on the chalkboard, the camera hardly ever puts it in frame, which would have been great for the audience to kind of sole the problem along with the characters.

But instead the movie shifts focus away from the riddles/enigmas and focuses on them trying to figure out who has put them there and why. This is where Fermat's Room becomes derivative and generic, this is very familiar territory for this type of movie and it is spun in an unengaging way. I personally would have enjoyed focuses more on the enigmas and trying to include the audience more (possibly by giving the characters more time to solve them).

And the unfortunate aspect of the movie is the Spanish subtitles, they were very fast moving which didn't help things (Just something that was unavoidable sadly). Like when the characters are dissecting the enigmas, the lines of dialogue moved too quickly to follow along with how they were solving the problem.

But when all is said and done, Fermat's Room is an interesting, little thriller that has just enough distinction from other films in the genre to make it worth mentioning.
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5/10
It Fails To Add Up To More Than The Sum Of Its Parts
benjamin_lappin23 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"La Habitación de Fermat" or "Fermat's Room" to us English speakers, is a Spanish thriller that focuses a great deal around mathematics and problem solving in order a tense sequence of events in its own unique manner. "Fermat's Room" utilises concepts from various sources, in particular there is quite a similarity between it and the American crime-drama that is "Numb3rs", were you to heighten the interpersonal action and tone down the mathematics. It also features an intertwining story line where characters are not always who they appear to be, in a similar manner to those found in films such as "Fight Club" or "Memento". Unfortunately for directors Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña it leads to the film coming across as highly unpolished and indeed somewhat garbled in parts, as it becomes apparent they clearly had their minds determined to include certain set pieces and key moments without any real idea how to properly link them together through the dialogue to create a coherent plot.

Detailing the meet of four strangers under mysterious circumstances and the promise of solving the worlds most complicated enigma, the mathematicians follow a cryptic series of events which leads them to an abandoned warehouse in the middle of the country. Of the four we have two young protégé's, a grizzled toy manufacturer and an elderly mathematician who is tired of life and is intrigued by the prospect of one last great outing. They find themselves entering an vibrantly decorated room containing a blackboard, table, chairs, sofa, several bookcases worth of material and each other for company as they await their promised enigma by the elusive "Fermat". What follows is a sequence of events where they find themselves locked in this already claustrophobic room being forced to solve puzzles in under a minute and if failing finding the room closing in on them with the aid of four hydraulic compressors.

As a thriller, "Fermat's" does create moments of genuine tension as the score underlining the enclosing room does set the heart racing in a Hitchcockian ratcheting up of nerves which is superbly conveyed by two of the outstanding four cast members, in Lluís (accent included) Homar and Santi Millán. However, despite the promise "Fermat's Room" never delivers on the expectation and finds itself stumbling along without enough plausible gravitas in the dialogue to make the revelation an open-mouthed experience. Once the games begin the film settles into an all too formulaic pattern of when a puzzle is transmitted, one of the four will "begin working" on it while the other three engage in heightened communications to try and push forward the relationships between the four characters and how they may, or may not, be connected. Lacking the necessary x-factor to thoroughly engage the audience, the film itself also falls foul of an unforgivable sin and that is not being tight enough to make such a far fetched story even remotely believable. The film creates its own plot holes and casually drops in lines, one in particular about "Oliva" enjoying illegal activities yet never following through on what those specific activities are. What is the point in having a character say something which potentially could further the interest in that character only to not provide resolution? If Pascal finds out that Fermat is the father of a daughter he accidentally killed, why does it take the photo of his daughter after he has left the room for him to recognise him? How does the culprit plan on escaping the tightening dungeon when his proposed means of escape is perhaps the least subtle that he could imagine? Why do characters pick up pieces of information which would lead to the identity of the culprit and not follow through? The individuals within do not act with any rationale or reason, especially given their logical backgrounds and lead to an all too frustrating experience, indeed, even more so when one of the problems that is presented within the film is answered incorrectly and that's supposed to be its main selling point.

"Fermat's Room" was and is an unfortunately disappointing experience which promises the viewer a unique thrilling roller-coaster but presents the metaphorical equivalent of a log flume ride, it's "wishy-washy" and all down hill after the start. It is not polished enough to hit the heights that the directors have wished to achieve it comes across too often as set pieces which have been linked together and a nonsensical run of twists and interactions which are underdeveloped or not worth having been developed in the first place. I truly wished to enjoy the experience, yet the more that you think about the film the more it continues to disappoint, not because it is that awful but simply because it had potential to be much more than the sum of its parts. This Spanish thriller sets itself out to be a thinking mans thriller, to attempt to achieve a cinematic comparison to that of a rubix cube yet after serious critical analysis comes across more like a defunct abacus.
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7/10
An intelligent thriller.
kevin_crighton23 August 2010
Four mathematician's are invited to a home, to discuss ideas. Once there they soon discover that it's a trap, where they have to solve problems, while the walls slowly close in on them...

On paper, this film sounds like an intelligent version of Saw. And there are slight similarities, but it's a much cleverer film. The plot is well thought out, as it keeps you guessing on who is behind it all. The film is very well acted by the cast, and the writers and directors Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Soperia keep the tension through out. The set design of the single room is impressive as the clever use of camera angles to add to the building tension as the room gets smaller.

Despite being a film where they use a lot of problems so it relies on the brain more than brawn, the problems themselves aren't overly complicated, and are easy to understand.

If there is a slight let-down, I thought the ending isn't as clever as the rest of the film, but despite this I really enjoyed the film and would recommend it.
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7/10
A thinking man's Saw
funero10 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A group of mathematicians is invited to a mysterious meeting where they are to discuss high-level math with their secretive host. The whole thing turns out to be a trap and now they are forced to solve riddles while brainstorming who's trying to kill them AND trying to find a way out.

In short, it's a thinking man's Saw. Instead of pain-tolerance and the will to survive, character's wits and cool heads are tested. Instead of horror and gratuitous gore, we have a much more coherent story and nicely-done tension building. Don't let the first half an hour fool you. The mystery is much deeper than at first seems and extremely well presented and paced. You won't be disappointed by the ending, as is often the case with movies such as this.

The only problem for me were the characters. None of them was sympathetic enough for me to really connect with and root for. I was more intrigued by the plot and puzzles, than worried about any of their fates. I suppose that's the price many mystery movies must pay to keep the audience guessing, but it does take its toll on the tension-filled-death-trap aspect of this one.

Overall, this is an excellent film. High recommendation for fans of tense thrillers and closed room mysteries. And if you liked the storyline and tension in 'Saw', but averted your eyes during the torture scenes, this is an absolute must.
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7/10
Four mathematicians
jotix10018 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Goldbach's conjecture, an enigma that puzzled great mathematician minds, is the basis of this tale about the solving of this old riddle. Four people are summoned to come to Fermat's home for a dinner. There are three men, and a woman who don't know one another, but they have, at one time or another, tried to make sense of the poser, that even greater minds throughout history have not been able to get it right.

The mysterious Fermat, an older gentleman, is an attentive host, but kind of aloof. After dinner Fermat and his guests, who are given names of famous mathematicians, Galois, Pascal, Hilbert and Oliva, go into a room where they are probably going to be given drinks. The host receives a cryptic phone call on his cell phone and excuses himself because he must go to the hospital where his daughter has been taken.

The four math geniuses are left with another cell phone where they begin receiving PDA messages that asks them to solve different difficult math problems going from easy to more difficult ones. As a condition, if the solutions are not found in time, the room will begin shrinking. Revelations about the four participants begin to emerge and the claustrophobic atmosphere begins to take its toll on the four. The menace of being crushed by the walls create tension among the four minds knowing full well they are doomed unless they find a solution that might be beyond themselves.

Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena, wrote and directed this film that was a surprise when shown recently on cable. The realm of the work of Goldbach weighs heavily in the narrative. Little is known about the mysterious host, whose name is also that of one of the most distinguished minds in the world, Pierre De Fermat, appears to know the inner souls of the people he invited to play with their minds, or does he really? LLuis Homar, Alejo Sauras, Santi Millan and Elena Ballesteros make an interesting combination in this Spanish film that makes one wonder about what really is going on in it. Federico Luppi is only seen briefly, yet his presence is all over the place.
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4/10
thriller without tension, mystery or thrills
dholliday1 May 2015
The last review (in chronological view, from Matthew B) has already said pretty much what I was going to.

Suffice to say that this is a very generic and tame thriller - I doubt even maths buffs will get much out of it. The mysteries that are offered are revealed in a cheap copy of hitchcockian technique, and they were never interesting to begin with.

No thrills or tense moments, either...it's all played far too safely. The actors are OK, if a little bland. Camera work is too shaky, seems to be used just to conceal the lack of suspense...the whole package is uninspired.

Two good scenes: a seatbelt moment with birdseye view of its consequences, and the final scene which scans the surroundings to make sure the world is as it was. But these aren't enough to recommend the film.
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Doesn't Add Up
JoeytheBrit20 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
More a psychological thriller than a horror, Fermat's Room flatters to deceive you into believing it is something cleverer than it really is and, like all who attempt such a ploy, ends up falling flat on its face.

The far-fetched story has a group of four mathematicians – all strangers to one another – meeting at the invitation of the mysterious Fermat after each managing to crack a puzzle he has given them. They are guided to a deserted building in which there is only one room that has been furnished and decorated. Shortly, they are met by Fermat and enjoy a civilised meal before their host is suddenly called away to the hospital where his daughter lies in a coma. After he has left, the remaining boffins find the door to the room is locked, and soon discover that the walls of the room will slowly close in on them if they fail to solve within one minute a series of puzzles texted to them on the mobile left by Fermat.

The film's opening credits show a miniature replica of the room in which the mathematicians are to be imprisoned being furnished by a gloved hand, so it's clear that some sinister force will manipulate what it considers to be 'little' people, and immediately movies like Cube and Saw spring to mind. Of these three films, Saw is arguably the most successful because it manages to maintain a level of believability (no matter how far-fetched its story might be) while Cube and Fermat's Room do not.

While this film is reasonably entertaining as you watch, and at time creates some moments of high tension, as the plot holes mount the slowness of the supposedly intelligent prisoners to find a way out of their cell starts to grate after a while. Surely one of them would have thought to knock on the walls in search of the giveaway hollow echo of a space beyond? Perhaps the writers were relying on the fact that even highly intelligent people can overlook the obvious, but I suspect they came up with an intriguing idea – albeit one that wouldn't be out of place in a 1970s DC horror comic – and couldn't figure out a plausible resolution.

And quite how all four walls and the roof of the room are supposed to close in at the same time is beyond me. Maybe there's a mathematical formula for that sort of thing. Either way, the film becomes increasingly silly as the story unfolds, with a number of surprisingly mundane twists and red herrings arbitrarily thrown into the mix so that, by the time the end credits roll, the viewer is left feeling disappointed by it all.
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a failed attempt to romanticise mathematics
picasdan8 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I watched Fermat's room mainly due to my math teacher's recommendation. Truthfully speaking, he has every reasons to be more apt as a math teach, not a film critic.

There isn't much to say about the plot. An aged mathematician becomes indignant of the proof of Goldbach's conjecture by a younger one, rendering all his work then meaningless. The ensuing indignation fuels him to contrive a plan that would kill the young one with no trace left behind.

I don't have a strong liking for it, not a dislike. Some details are clever and are handled ingeniously, namely the logical order of events, the validity of math riddles, the intertwined stories of four participants that each one holds dearly to. Yet, little does it have an impression or impact on the audience.
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Very watchable
jayleshd17 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
With Hollywood and Bollywood movies being churned out daily, we seem to overlook the great achievements of other countries and their movies.

Spain has a great pool of talented actors, directors and very unique stories that have now entered in the playing field as a vital contender.

Fermat's Room (English Title), should be watched and should not be turned away due to its complete Spanish dialect. It is a masterful piece of cinema that once started it very difficult to turn off.

The concept is unique, and the script is engaging. I enjoy movies that allow the audience is guess and solve clues. This is a fantastic riddle of a film and I would say largely a thriller.

Put yourself out of your comfort zone and watch Fermats Room, have a new cinema experience.
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5/10
Using math to pull people in, then failing miserably
siderite21 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is a bait and switch. Four brilliant people are drawn into a trap by a mystery murderer and they must think their way out. However, the premise is the only interesting thing about the film. The boy genius is a hot headed ass who is transparent from the very beginning, the woman is there for no clear reason, while another guy is the inventor of a duck shaped popcorn machine. Only one of them is actually a mathematician. And the "thinking" involves solving some trick questions that you either know from before or you have to use general school thinking to do it.

The story is full of holes, the actors play badly, the tension is not really there and the ending, where duck-guy throws the demonstration of the Goldbach conjecture into the water, smartly observing that the world has not changed afterward (idiot! That is what was wrong!), annoyed the hell out of me. And I am not even a math guy.

Bottom line: avoid this piece of pretentious trash.
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8/10
The greatest enigma of all
houndtang7531 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I heard about this film some time ago and was waiting for ages for it to be released. Whilst it probably wasn't worth such a wait, it's still an entertaining little puzzle movie. This is a genre that is plumbed relatively infrequently - The Last of Sheila springs to mind - but is often quite enjoyable. 'Fermat's Room' sets up an intriguing situation, gets a bit far-fetched to be sure, and shows signs of flagging inspiration when it dredges up the old 'one jailer always tells the truth, one always lies, you only have one question' chestnut, which was done in 'Doctor Who' in about 1976; but it doesn't outstay it's welcome and provides some tension and a few twists along the way. Probably more 7.5 than 8 out of 10 but hey.
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10/10
Even better than what I expected
costantis23 July 2013
To be honest, I always trust Spanish thrillers, cause for me it's a different and exceptional approach to mystery, having seen other relative movies.

I believe this one is one of the best films of the genre, and really enjoyable. As a matter of fact, it doesn't include any horror, however it creates panic to the viewer, who is watching the suspicions and thinking of the prime actors. And the entire plot is so interesting and mysterious simultaneously, as it is based on mathematics. The good point is that you cant really understand what has really happened until the end literally. I think it's a very nice choice and I really recommend it!
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5/10
"Saw" for the snobbish...
Coventry2 July 2013
There are numerous of (horror) films in which a bunch of people – strangers to each other – are gathered, whether or not against their will, in a secluded area and forced to solve tests, puzzles, ordeals and whatnot in order to survive. This even became a particular sub genre by the name of "torture porn" and the 2003 blockbuster "Saw" is generally considered as the pioneer. Usually, and that's why these movies are so popular, the tests are extremely gore and inhumanly cruel. The Spanish thriller "Fermat's Room" is some kind of variation on the torture porn theme, with brain-boggling riddles instead of bloody torture devices and endless dialogs instead of crying and shrieking. In fact, this film is a bit like "Saw" for the more snobbish viewer! I don't intend to make this sound like an insult or even a criticism, it's merely an establishment. Four über-intelligent mathematicians are lured to a remote island location. Their mysterious host, code named Fermat, requested them to solve a confusing yet logical riddle and now they assume to attend an elite gathering amongst intellectuals. Immediately after diner, however, Fermat leaves the group and the remaining guests soon find themselves trapped in a hi-tech shrinking room. They non-stop receive enigmas via a mobile phone and, if they don't text the answers within a minute, indestructible hydraulic presses promptly make the room cozier. "Fermat's Room" has a well-written script and definitely features a number of very intense and unsettling sequences, but personally I have some severe concerns regarding the film's plausibility factor. Is it realistic that mathematicians eagerly accept this kind of invitation, not knowing the exact purpose or any of the other attendees of the meeting, solely to meet up with people of their own intellect? The plot truly becomes implausible – ludicrous even – once the mysterious culprit reveals his identity and particularly his motivations. The screenplay often was TOO intelligent for me, notably during the solving of the enigmas, as I didn't even understand the solutions when these brainiacs carefully analyzed them in detailed steps. I would have preferred a more clever and original denouement, though.
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5/10
Silly
sergepesic24 May 2010
This is what will happen when someone across the world decides to imitate Hollywood. This silly movie is so obviously inspired by " Saw", that most of the suspense evaporates or resembles a deflated balloon. Thrillers are not usually the most logical genre. In order to build excitement and quicken the pace,the movie makers have to, on occasion, abandon reality. I am perfectly willing to overlook some flows or leaps of faith, but this disappointing movie asks just too much. Foolish puzzles, characters so irritating that you wish those walls move quicker and squish them and suspensless suspense defy the mere function of this genre. Silly,silly and not even funny.
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Saw-beggars shouldn't be choosy Fermat-nitpickers.
fedor822 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
People who completely ignored the utter lack of logic in "Saw" suddenly become nitpickers when it comes to much better movies. It's as if for some people garbage has special rights.

I don't mind additional variations on the clueless-group-of-people-locked-up-in-a-place shtick, as long as they are as good as "The Cube" or "Exam", i.e. as long as they aren't total rubbish such as "Saw" or "House of 9" (both of which are some of the worst movies ever made, btw). Fortunately, FR leans much more toward the good side of this sub-genre.

Ironically, just as it is hard for participants of such "games" to escape their prisons/rooms/cubes, so do these movies themselves struggle to escape becoming entangled in their own over-complexity. Mere flawed mortals write them - and these humans are always so ambitious, bless 'em; they try so hard to make the riddle as "riddley" as possible. Hence it is of no surprise at all that there are logic problems.

The biggest plot-hole is this: how the hell was the master-criminal planning to exit the room without being stopped by the others? His plan of escape would have backfired even if he hadn't been knocked unconscious. I don't see how he could have disposed of all three people just seconds before he was forced to use the escape chute. Logically, they would have prevented him from doing that, and used the chute themselves for escape. I.e. the writers should have stuck with the suicide plan, with which the viewer was fooled earlier on. The criminal's suicide plan DID sound very far-fetched but at least it made (more) sense from a logical standpoint.

Speaking of far-fetched, there is plenty of that here. The premise is fun – but preposterous. That three people would agree to travel to a remote part of Spain with the instructions of not bringing their mobile phones with them would be acceptable – IF the old geezer had invited imbeciles. Not to mention that the mention who sent them invitations was somebody they'd never met or seen, and didn't even know his name. Yet they are not imbeciles; these are all well-educated, bright minds. (The old/new mobile-phone dilemma! A problem for all writers of thriller and horror films as of the 90s: HOW DO WE ELIMINATE HELP COMING FROM SOMEONE SIMPLY DIALING THE POLICE? I am yet to see a movie in which this problem is satisfactorily resolved.) The fact that they told nobody of their mystery trip only quadruples the ludicrousness of their startling naivety.

Furthermore, there is that silly explanation regarding how the murderer met the young man's girlfriend, and then that whole nonsense about "illegal" (presumably sexual) shenanigans going on aboard the murderer's vessel, things she got addicted to and couldn't do without. In fact, the entire background story revolving the girl and her relationship to the murderer was preposterous, and while it didn't break any logic rules it sure did throw the movie deeper and deeper into far-fetched territory.

The conspiracy devised by the murderer was so intricate, and so reliant on absolute precision and absolutely everything going as planned that it was nothing sort of a miracle that everything DID go according to plan – up to the point where he gets knocked flat on his backside. It would have been more realistic for the murderer to have many aides in this venture, rather than do EVERYTHING on his own.

Another flaw would be the writers stuffing in too many plot-twists and revelations within a very short period of time during the second half. I certainly don't see how anybody could have picked up all the information watching this thing in the cinema, i.e. without stop/rewind buttons.
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