Pi, Pi Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo


Can a movie be too cerebral? Yes.  Can too much information be bad?  YES.  Can a wunderkind, like Darren Aronofsky, barely twenty nine, who took best director at Sundance Film Festival, delivered the goods? Well he does in this black and white, being pushed as a science-fiction thriller.

“Pi” takes its title from the Greek letter representing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, an endless number that is basically 3.14 and change.  Max played by the formidable actor Sean Gullette, who is on the verge of decoding a numerical pattern beneath the workings of the stock market.  Aronofsky, who calls his film, “a digital reinterpretation of the mad-scientist story”. Well it is pretty maddening, before he gets done with us, Gullette, his hero not only is pursued by Wall Street ruthless thugs interested in his findings, a cabala sect that feel he made be able to unlock scriptural secrets. His formula is simplistic to him, 1. “mathematics is the language of nature”; 2. “everything around us can be represented and understood by numbers”; 3. “therefore there are patterns everywhere in nature.”

Mark Margolis as Gullette's mentor in the movie delivers a very balanced to performance to the hyper Gullette, who is almost driven to the proverbial nervous breakdown.  He is on so much medication and tortured of the soul as well as mind, and well assisted by fellow performers Ben Shenkman, as the Hasidic Jew, who reveals the numerical significance of the Hebrew mystical doctrine the cabala.  Stephen Pearlman, as a rabbi, who believes that Gullette, has the key to divine knowledge.  Pamela Hart, a speculator sharp and razor thin in trying to get at Gullette’s brain.  It is Margolis who caps it beautifully with the ironic, “Life isn't jus mathematics.”   Yes, we now know that if you can remember your social security number you have to be totally INSANE.

If you don’t want to be relegated to a straitjacket, you can pass-up on this brilliant pseudo INTELLECTUAL BIT.  Darren Aronofsky, made and investment of $70,000 to produce this movie and he has already sold the rights for a million dollars, that what I call the best of this movie.
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Sean Gullette ---------- Maximillian Cohen
Mark Margolis -------- Sol Robeson
Ben Shenkman -------- Lenny Meyer
Pamela Hart ----------- Marcy Dawson
Stephen Pearlman ----- Rabbi Cohen
Samia Shoaib ---------- Devi
Ajay Naidu ------------ Farrouhk
Kristyn Mae-Anne Lao - Jenna
Espher Lao Nieves ----- Jenna's Mom
Joanne Gordon --------- Mrs. Ovadia
Lauren Fox ------------- Jenny Robeson

Directed by ------------- Darren Aronofsky
Written by -------------- Darren Aronofsky
Story by ---------------- Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette, Eric Watson
Camera ---------------- Matthew Libatique
Music ------------------ Clint Mansell
Production Design by --- Matthew Maraffi
Edited  by -------------- Oren Sarch
Produced by ------------ Eric Watson
Co-producer ------------ Scott Vogel
Executive producer ------ Randy Simon
Co-executive producer -- Tyler Brodie, David Godbout, Jonah Smith
Associate producer ----- Scott Franklin
Assistant producer ------ Katie King
MPAA Rated R for language and some disturbing images.

To contact Michael send e-mail to mmaynez@aol.com
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Original Date Wednesday 26 August 1998