Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman | See full cast and crew
Running time: 84 min
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.
Fifteen years on, Darren Aronofsky’s dark thriller hasn’t lost any of its age but it is a little dated looking. Not that that has ever put us off a movie, in fact sometimes it’s a plus point.
The tale of an obsessed mathematician, Max (Gullette), who believes he is on the verge of using numbers – the building blocks of the universe – to break the codes and patterns of wall street, Pi is both a harrowingly complex, dark thriller and a simple tale of obsession and how it can ruin lives.
The oppressiveness of Max’s life is exquisitely realised, the routine of his life, the alienation of his friends and potential lovers is a painfully lonely experience. He has closed off the world around him like a knight on a quest, not realising that Wall Street is only the tip of the numbers iceberg. Aronofsky’s eye, despite still being his first feature, is impressive as he creates Max’s world within New York but yet it feels like it would be at peace in Bladerunner or Metropolis – a world that rarely sees daylight and is so oppressive that his quest is totally understandable… to a point.
However, it’s not a perfect movie. Some of the performances do grind a little (not Gullette who never fails to relay his agony and ecstasy) and, as I said above, the movie does feel dated now but thankfully none of this takes away from the story and mood of this movie and the bleak yet hopeful ending still shocks as much as it elates.
While it is great to have this on blu-ray the movie quality is not improved and to be fair it’s not much better than earlier DVD prints – Aronofsky made this on a budget and deliberately in this style so the upgrade is a mostly pointless endeavour. That said, if you don’t own this already then now is the perfect time to grab it.
Overall it’s still a powerhouse of a movie and works on so many levels. Some of the weaknesses do pop out a little more but as a story of obsession and destruction and a man pushed to the edge as his world falls apart, it would be hard to find a better, edgier and pacier movie.
Pi: 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray on 12th August 2013
Commentary with Darren Aronofsky
Commentary with Sean Gullette
Behind The Scenes Montage
Original (Darren & Eric) trailer
Πr2 Music Video
4 out of 5 Nerds