Thursday, May 19, 2016

931. Pi

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

This film always reminds me of a friend of mine, who is quite good with computers and suffers from migraines.  He believes he is better off than me, as I have extreme bone pain from a condition called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses.  I always think he has it worse and really, I should be the authority on the subject as I have had both (don't eat the sandwiches at Sainsburys).  Anyway, cluster headaches trump everything.

Max Cohen is an unemployed number theorist who suffers from cluster headaches.  He believes that everything can be understood by numbers and is intent on figuring out the stock market through calculations on his computer.  His computer comes up with a 216 digit number that Max initially believes has no meaning, but later discovers could be the answer he was looking for.  Doesn't he know that the answer to the universe is 42?

The movie was effective in creating a mood; everything seemed to contribute to the overall feeling of intensity and near hysteria.  In lesser hands (or perhaps with a bigger budget) this could easily be a mindless thriller: mathematician discovers a secret that some agency wants so they come after him, causing many explosions and cringeworthy quips.  However, this was a thoughtful movie and I felt a deep connection with the main character.

I also felt for the ending, as my friend told me he fantasizing about doing the same thing.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Most of the props on set were hot glued together.  The smell caused nausea in many crew members.


  1. I loved this film, hugely atmospheric. The soundtrack works in perfectly. I was expecting you to give it a thumbs-down for some reason.

  2. No, but I suppose there's no way to answer this question without appearing to criticise you. I'll try to choose my words carefully...

    Some people find it unnecessarily gritty, a central character difficult to warm to, a plot that falls the wrong side of the believability line, deliberately uncomfortable visuals and audio, a script that goes around in circles and a story arc that ultimately doesn't really take you anywhere. I could imagine some of these objections coming from your fingertips.

  3. Not all that off topic, but an attempt to start a conversation..

    Anyone out there seen Noah? (Aronofsky's 2014 'non biblical biblical epic'?)

  4. This is Amanda but I am commenting anonymously. I think I am retroactively insulted by Dessie's comment. And no I haven't seen Noah. Really have no desire to.

    1. I first saw Pi and thought "Wow, what a great film I've discovered! Everyone will be so happy when I introduce them to it!" But no one really was.

      Haven't seen Noah. I like Aronofsky. I know he's flawed, but I forgive him for it.

      Haven't forgotten the list, BTW. I sort of come and go at it. Five films a week for six months then six months off. But I'll be back. Am keen to get going again but need to clear out some other things that I've downloaded over the Summer first. Still keep an eye on the page though.