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Insanity or genius.....hard to choose.....hard to choose.....

  • Nov 27, 2008
  • by
Max Cohen is a loner by nature, a mathematical genius who is seeking to find numerical patterns everywhere. His life is consumed by patterns, and his lives his life reciting his assumptions and their evidence.


1. Mathematics is the language of nature
2. Everything around is can be represented and understood by numbers
3. If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge


1. The cycling of disease epidemics
2. The wax and wan of caribou populations
3. Sunspot cycles
4. The rise and fall of the Nile River

Filmed in grainy black and white exposure, making Max's life seem even more illusionary and surreal, Pi gives us a small taste of how separated from society this particular personality type feels. They are not "color" people, to them all is black and white.

Max suffers from migraine headaches, delusions, and the numbers that obsess him. He has only one friend, an older man named Sol Robeson, with whom he gets together with to play Go, a game of patterns.

Robeson tries to tell Max that numbers aren't everything, and that was why he stopped his research on Pi. Max thinks Sol stopped caring, and doesn't understand what Sol is trying to tell him. Very amusing is Sol's story of Archimedes and the bath.

Max also gets to know Lenny, a talkative Hassidic Jew who points out to him the pattern of numbers in the Koran. Taking this information, Max runs it through his computer which winds out crashing just after spitting out a string of numbers.

On a comical footnote, Lenny reminded me of Torgo in MST3K's "Manos, the Hands of Fate", except that he needed bigger knees.

Obsessed with finding the pattern of the stock market, Max is suddenly pursued by a corporate representative offering him a classified silicon chip in exchange for the numbers in his head, and Lenny's Rabbi's searching for the name of God; and all of this supposedly hidden in a 216 digit number that Max has the ability to unlock.

Max is definitely a genius, but with absolute genius comes madness. Max's degeneration and haunting mania are wonderfully portrayed in this tense, gripping movie with a not-to-miss ending in store. Enjoy!


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December 23, 2010
I remember seeing this years ago, my friends artsy girlfriend and him wanted me to see this. I liked that ink soaked look of the camera work but found the strory, honestly to be pretentious at times. It was interesting but that was it.
January 26, 2009
Wasn't it the pattern of numbers in the Talmud? As I recall He was looking for the number and name of God.
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie


Starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Writers:  Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette

Product Description
A brilliant mathematician teeters on the brink of insanity as he searches for an elusive numerical code in this critically acclaimed schizophrenic thriller. Special features: commentary by director darren aronofsky and actor sean gullette deleted scenes interactive menus production notes and much more. Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent. Release Date: 02/18/2003 Starring: Sean Gullette Ben Shenkman Run time: 85 minutes Rating: R Director: Darren Aronofsky
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Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure
Release Date: July 10, 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Runtime: 1hr 25min
Studio: Harvest Filmworks, Artisan Entertainment
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