"It's well better than a 3.14. Great, artsy indy flick."
It was a poor summer for studio fare. Thank God for the local indy house and "Pi.""Pi" isn't for everyone, just those moviegoers out there who enjoy a smart, challenging trip from point A to B along a twisty, narrow road.
Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is a math whiz, no, make that GENIUS, who, believing that in everything there is a pattern to be decipered, is using the stock market as a test subject. Max, shunning his neighbors and rarely consulting anyone except his college mentor, has recurring tension headaches that intensify despite heavy medication. Could it be that it's because what he's looking for is a gateway into something man was not meant to know? That would be fine except for his own insatiable drive to understand, and the interest his work piques in both an increasingly driven Wall Street consulting firm and a sect of Jewish mystics. Should he trust anyone, including himself? Has he crossed a line that can't be crossed without dire repercussions?
Finding out the answers to all these questions, all the whys and wherefores, kept me enthralled more than most any film this year. And when the story flags, writer and director Darren Aronofsky's sharp black and white photography and seemingly innate ability to compose haunting imagery keeps the hackle level up. This is a guy to watch for a LONG time. If he develops even one-sixteenth of the promise shown by "Pi," he'll show up most of the big-budget guys within two years. Wait, he's already done that.
The best performance in the film is the only one that really matters---Gullette projects the near-madness and pain Max is fighting as well as one could expect.
And I'm not really a fan of techno music, but Clint Mansell's electronic score is amazing. Perfect for the mood and tone.
I was all set to give this sucker four stars and be done with it, but it's been months since I saw it, and it still sticks with me. So flaws and all it gets the five-star push.
See it.It' more than the second coming of David Lynch, cool as that would be. Aronofsky's got a good thing started here.