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USA 1998
Directed by
Darren Aronofsky
85 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


 Darren Aronofsky's black-and-white debut feature owes much stylistically to David Lynch's Eraserhead (1978) in its evocation of the eerie, disconnected world of its main protagonist, Max Cohen (Sean Gullette), a mathematician who is losing his mind from his obsession to discover a hidden numerical pattern in life.

Aronofsky with his cinematographer Matthew Ubatique, make excellent use of their limited resources to create Max’s disintegrating world whilst Gullette gives a convincing performance as the tormented Max. The invocation of chaos theory, Fibonacci, the Torah and the Nasdaq give Pi a occult aura that no doubt would appeal to the legion of worldwide nerds who have made this somewhat of a cult film and who would also relate heavily to the central character who spends most of his time enclosed in a small room with his super-computer trying to nut out the mystic code-to-end-all-codes

Unlike Lynch, in the end Aronofsky has a simple message, encapsulated in the tagline “faith in chaos”. Although far from everyone’s cup of tea and limited in range, Pi suggests the presence of a director with a very distinctive voice and indeed Aronofsky has not disappointed.





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