REVIEWED
2/9/03

STORY



LOOK

π (Pi)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Year: 1997
TRT: 1:25


As far as movies about mathematicians are concerned, this one is pretty fuckin' out there. What we're dealing with here is a strange cerebral mystery of sorts thats byproduct seems to be a descent into madness. And I for one think it's fascinating. Sure the ending leaves you kinda scratchin your head (with your finger, not a drill bit please thank you), but it's an interesting look at logic, and what that cost may be for certain individuals.

The film deals with a modern-day mathematician who is bent on finding the patterns of everyday life through numbers. Since ultimately everything has a pattern, it is only a matter of finding out what it is in order to predict whatever is next. Max Cohen (played pretty alright by newcomer Sean Gullette), an extremely intelligent, introverted person, uses his knowledge and a frankenstyle computer to try to figure out these patterns in life, specifically to the stock market. His frazzled personality is equivalent to a junkie, and his bouts of paranoia aren't totally unjustified considering who would be interested in this information, from wall street bullies to a Kaballah sect looking for a specific number. And that information locked in Max's head has a pretty serious affect on his health.

I think this film pisses a lot of people off because of its resolution. But I think it works perfectly, because even within the movie itself, everyone who wants this knowledge has a different viewpoint on how it would be applied. The film is in black & white, which is actually quite befitting to the film (think binary, man!). But it does have some low-lit scenes so that they really had to push the limits of the film itself, resulting in some pretty grainy footage. But it's not that big of a deal; combined with the number of hand-held and steadycam shots throughout, it helps add to the chaotic frenziness of the story. This is supported by a great soundtrack and score, with some very creepy and high-energy techno music throughout (most of it was composed by Clint Mansell).

DVD Notes: Pretty decent single disc put out by Artisan, including 2 commentaries, one with the director Aronofsky and the other with actor Gullette, who also helped pen a bit of the script. There's some "lost scenes" with commentary, behind the scenes montage, music video using clips from the movie as well as some interesting nature shots with bugs, some notes on π from a mathmatical viewpoint, and a brief look at the graphic novel "Book of Ants" written by Aronsofsky that is a reinterpretation of the movie. Plus there is a decent Cast & Crew segment as well as some pretty extensive production notes.