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Top Customer Reviews
Mathematician Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is on a quest. He is convinced that underlying the chaos of the stock market is a pristine order, a mathematical rule with which he can prove that everything can be reduced to numbers. His mentor and teacher is Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), who was forced to give up his own investigations into PI when he suffered a mysterious stroke.
Cohen's investigation takes him far beyond the gyrations of the stock market into the mystical Kaballah and an intense questioning of the basic nature of reality. His tool for this journey is the silent, inanimate computer, Euclid, who seems to deconstruct Cohen's universe further with each strike of the return key. Even when Robeson urges Cohen to take a break from a quest which is clearly destroying the mathematician, torturing him with horrific headaches and hallucinations, Max is unable to stop. He is drawn step by step into the irrevocable gap between the sacred and the mundane.
Made with reversal film which heightens the contrast between light and dark, the film provides a continuous flow of symbolic content which plays in harmony with the world of ideas from with it is drawn. Ants and electric drills, computer chips and the swirls of cream in a cup of coffee all seem to have otherworldly referents.Read more ›
1. Pi is NOT about the number pi (I'm not sure some of these reviewers even watched the film);
2. Accusations that the film is more about numerology than mathematics miss the point by a mile, i.e. there is a vital scene in which the main character is plainly warned that his obsessive pattern search will lead him into the non-science desert of numerology;
3. Max's search for the 216 digit name of God is not a simple descent into mystical hooey: his investigation of the Torah, like the stock market, is a search for an underlying pattern in a chaotic system. He is intrigued by the possibility of arriving at a fundamental insight into the universe by this discovery. Ultimately his fallacy is not the assumption that this pattern exists, but his presumption that his brain could encompass the entire world.
Enough philosophy - the black and white photography is stark and unsettling, the minor characters are memorable (Lenny and Sol are standouts), the soundtrack is refreshingly modern and engaging without being obtrusive, and the whole is laden with a creepy atmosphere of cold cerebral obsession (this quality probably being the main reason people either love or hate this film).
Reasons for some dissatisfaction might include the hallucination sequences being only vaguely delineated from the rest of the narrative, which causes some confusion, and the discontinuity of the plot, in which story and character are artfully sketched rather than fully filled out.
The ending is also problematic, but it is unsatisfying only in as much as total comprehension of the universe by the human mind is an impossible dream. It is this intellectual tantalization which is, I believe, the point of the film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very deep movie that I believe requires at least a basic understanding in certain mathematical concepts/ideas.Published 1 month ago by William Hody
After taking enough time to recover from Requiem for a Dream, I got to work on watching Life of Pi. This was Aronovsky’s first film. Why I watched them out of order is beyond me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael Griswold
Mathematics, numerology, kabbalah, and the stock market. Thought provoking. A low budget gem.Published 3 months ago by Andrew L. Gallo
a very odd movie. looks like the budget was a quarter. not a quarter of most movies; just twenty five cents. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lee Raff
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