Friday, August 21, 2009

π Movie Review

π or Pi (1998) is a crazy mind-bending thrill ride! It was filmed entirely in black and white with a grainy high contrast look giving it a timeless (and slightly manic) feel. Maximilian (Max) Cohen is a genius mathematician searching for a pattern in the stock market. If he can determine the pattern he can predict its next move.

He is an eccentric, smart, and troubled man that also suffers from intense headaches putting him into a dream-like state. The only friend to pull him away from his computer (Euclid) is his old professor Sol (Mark Margolis). The two play Go together often and discuss number theory even though Sol tries to get him to step away from his work before he goes crazy.

The idea he works from is that if you look at our galaxy, shells, liquids, and so many more things a common pattern appears. The golden ratio is seen in all these items; if we come from and are made up of this pattern and it is all around us, it is reasonable to think anything we create would also have this pattern (such as the stock market).

Word gets out about his research and he is relentlessly pursued by Wall Street firms trying to acquire his research. A friend, Lenny, is trying to get him to help decode the Torah to find the hidden message. All these people push Max hard for the information as he tries to stay hidden and keep working. Will he ever make his discovery? If so, who will know the meaning of it and how would it be used? He is constantly popping pills and taking injections to try to keep his head straight as his problems and paranoia worsen.

8 out of 10 - Rated R - A heart pounding experience that will keep you guessing and working along side Max to figure it out. It is a visual and auditory experience like no other. Watch this one soon if you like math, sci-fi, or just crazy cult following movies.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this film right after I saw The Wrestler because I was completely enthralled by Aronofsky's style of filmmaking. While this isn't a perfect film, it works best as a fast-paced thrill ride, like you said. It keeps you guessing the whole way and it becomes increasingly suspenseful as it goes along.