Tuesday, January 10, 2006

[DVD] Pi (1998)

Darren Aronofsky shot to prominence with this relatively low budgeted movie which looks like it has a million dollars ploughed into its production. It's inspiring to see how this black and white film dwells on science fiction so effortlessly, given its very simple plot.

Long time Aronofsky collaborator Sean Gullette plays Max Cohen, a mathematician who's looking for patterns amidst chaos. He is determined to predict and look for patterns in stock markets, and comes dangerously close to a solution until his computer Euclid, breaks down. During his quest to uncover and recover what Euclid produced before it broke down, he comes across a religious Kabbalah cult, as well as a pesky banker, who is more than meets the eye.

Those with a slight interest in mathematics might also get a kick out of watching how maths can feature and get filmed stylistically in a film like this. Like the Fibbonacci sequence, and how the Kabbalah texts can be represented by numbers. Some numerology also makes its way into the narrative. It's interesting to note how a simple story is able to accomodate these various subplots with ease, and how they all are brought together to make it visually arresting.

The cast is relatively small, and much hinges on Gullette's portrayal as a lonely, and sick man who's bordering on the edge of madness (don't most geniuses?). Most of the supporting characters are played by family and friend\s of the filmmakers too.

Accompanied by a great soundtrack, this Code 1 DVD also comes with plenty of extras, like deleted scenes, separate audio commentaries by Aronofsky and Gullette, production notes, trailers and a music video. It is substance combined with style.

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