Saturday, May 28, 2011

PI (1998)

12: 45

Restate my assumptions:

One-Mathematics is the language of Nature.

Two- Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.

Three-If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge.

Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in Nature.

Darren Aronofsky’s this stimulating and mindblowing debut and its unusual protagonist reminds me two other directors and their equally impressive debut films- one is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Following’ and the other is David Lynch’s pathbreaking masterpiece ‘Eraserhead’. Lynch’s surrealistic style is more attuned to mood and atmosphere here, though it’s less challenging and bizarre. One can classify it more than one genre- its sci-fi, and its brilliant psychological thriller concocted with dark, paranoia and claustrophobic set up. I’m so stoned with the form and content of film that in last 24 hours I watched it 3 times and enjoyed it in increasing proportions.

It’s about a Math prodigy named Maximillian Cohen who’s obsessed with making assumptions and hypothesis about order and patterns in numbers and working on finding patterns in stock market to Hebrew Bible. Up against his hypothesis and experimental finding of order and patterns, there’s counter antithesis by another old scientist and his mentor who worked on pi theory and claimed that there is no simple pattern or order; the universe is extremely complex and chaotic in its endless multiple patterns and possibilities just like that Japanese game on Go Board. Every prodigy has its own anomaly; Max is allergic staring to the sun, he’s suffering from severe migraine attacks and hooked to regular dose of his drug which dragged him into the world of hallucinations, discovery and a great loss.

Aronofsky’s experimental nerve for striking visuals is stamp of his own from this very first film. One may find a lot of stylistic parallel between his this debut and his next dark drama ‘Requiem for a Dream’. The rapid cuttings of montages, high contrast black and white images, immaculate visual and sound editing is mind-blowing treat to watch for any indie film lovers. It’s debut of Aronofky’s constant collaborator Clint Mansell too, who pushed the film to a different experience with his electronic psychedelic background score and sound mixing heightening the paranoiac psychological subjectivity of Max. The last half hour is sheer puzzle and mental exercise for the audience, cleverly disoriented and lost in shifting cycle of Max’s objective and subjective realism.


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