Archive: Shot on a shoe-string budget, Aranofsky’s film Pi enigmatic indie hits a new peak of low-budget, original film-making


“Mathematics is the language of nature,” vents an offbeat number nerd called Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) in the midst of one of his lofty rants. “Everything around us can be understood and represented through numbers.” Words hard to fathom; spoken from the protagonist’s ingenuity and belief, yes, but the mathematician speaks quite brilliant sense in writer/director Darren Aronofsky’s astounding debut feature. So much so, that Max’s compulsive efforts to decode the alleged numerical order underpinning the stock-market exert a pull on corporate kingpins set on economic rule and freaky Rhabis intent on unlocking the secrets behind their holiest of texts.

In a periolous obsession that leads to all kinds of hypotheses regarding ecology and mysticism, money, faith and existence, Max’s mental and physical robustness is pushed to the very edges of endurance as he inches towards a specific sequence of digits that could shatter the very foundations of Wall-street and beyond.

Darren Aronofsky’s stylistically shot and conceived film revels in the sheer freedom of experimental film-making in what is, essentially, a character study that relentlessly probes at the known and unknown, the surreal and sublime. You don’t have to be good Will Hunting to grasp the tale, though. Pi is a very well executed sci-fi thriller that grips and stirs in a way that’ll leave you yearning for the answers and more. Maths can actually cool. Who’d have thought it!?

Shot on a shoe-string budget, this enigmatic indie hits a new peak of low-budget, original film-making. It looks and sounds unlike anything else around. The equation is exact and apt. The film-making techniques: astute and brash. And it all adds up, in quite exceptional yet enigmatic style. Pi is a truly haunting discussion on man’s undying efforts to crack the complex codes behind our very existence. It has cult potential written all over it. Innovative quality running rich throughout and boasts all the awe and intrigue as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter….honest; 3.14 and off into infinity.

Pi (1998), directed by Darren Aronofsky, is released on Blu-ray disc in the UK by Twentieth Century Fox, Certificate 15. 



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