Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From π to Zack and Miri: Part 1: π

From writer/director/mastermind/Rachel Weiss plaything Darren Aronofsky comes his feature film. And the future Aronofsky can be seen in this early offering.

Max Cohen is obsessed with patterns. He believes everything in the universe has a numerical pattern attached to it. His theory is there is a pattern in the stock market. His sole friend is another scientist who was attempting to discover a pattern in π. The colleague gave up his quest after a stroke. And he tries to convince Max to give up the chase over games of Go. But Max does find a pattern and predicts the stock market, an event which causes his computer to crash, but not before spitting out a 216 digit number. At first, Max throws the print out away.

But it turns out the number is some all powerful number, and as Max tries to get access to the number again he is beset by all manner of people interested in the acquisition of the number. Max also suffers from headaches and delusions brought on by the headaches, which make certain events of the movie questionable. The ending also plays out interesting, being perhaps the only Aronofsky film that does not try to be a downer.

The acting in the film is decent, about the level of the film as a small budget first time film. The actors are good. But the real shining points are the directing and the sound design. Aronofsky proves he can direct with this film. The image is often stark and locations are interesting, especially Max's apartment.

Then there is the sound design. The music kicks in at the right times, using one general theme but mixing it up throughout to never make it boring. And it always works for what is happening in the movie. The sound in the movie is amazing for the small budget style of the film.

Overall, π is a good movie, and a good start from Aronofsky. I'm glad I watched it.

Next: 3 Extremes



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