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Aug 28, 2003

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman

"When I was six, my mother told me not to stare at the sun, so I did."

Essentially, it centers around a young mathematician (number theorist) who believes that he can find a formula within the stockmarket that will allow him to predict those stocks that will profit and those that will plummet. Additionally, he has some form of mental illness that causes him to have intense seizures during stressful situations. (He attained this illness as a result of staring at the sun for an extended period as a young child.) Ultimately, the number he eventually discovers is much more important than he realizes - it has the potential of explaining God.

This film's cinematography is absolutely breath-taking. The entire movie is shot in a grainy black and white which adds incredibly depth to atmosphere. Moreover, the camera angles and filming techniques that the director utilized are perfectly suited to the feeling that his movie radiates.

I highly recommend this movie. It is both entertaining and mentally stimulating; something I have found many of the more recent films to be lacking.



Shady Lane
Jul 21, 2002

Chilin ( <3 C-Mart )


meshead came out of the closet to say:
Moreover, the camera angles and filming techniques that the director utilized are perfectly suited to the feeling that his movie radiates.
Yes I agree; it's pretty cool when you're watching the movie to notice that Aronofsky often uses Golden Proportions to set up his shots as well as use pattern and repetition in this movie because it works with what type of story this is.

May 3, 2002

Pi was an excuse to use every trick the director learned in film school. It is visually stunning and worth seeing for that reason alone. The story is humorous, but completely lacking in any real substance.

If you would rather see a young director use all his film tricks and back them up with a compelling story, pehnomenal acting, and a terrific musical score then watch Mean Streets

I give it a 1/5 to offset all the hype.

Sep 30, 2002

Oh I loooove going to the mooon ahaha ahhhahaaa

This movie makes me think and its wonderful for discussions, also for reference material Like the coney island beack scene with the nautilus...etc.. Overall good movie, not so much of a mindfuck as people make it out to be.

notary sojac
Jun 29, 2003

I must be dumb, because I just didn't "get it". I understand that pi is a mystical number, and this guy is a numbers genius, but... I don't know, I found it dry and hard to follow. The talkative hasidic jew made me just as uncomfortable as he made the protagonist, too. Stop with the talky talky, I just wanna sit here and enjoy my coffee and scribble down my formulas in peace.

May 2, 2003


notary sojac came out of the closet to say:
I must be dumb, because I just didn't "get it". I understand that pi is a mystical number, and this guy is a numbers genius, but... I don't know, I found it dry and hard to follow. The talkative hasidic jew made me just as uncomfortable as he made the protagonist, too. Stop with the talky talky, I just wanna sit here and enjoy my coffee and scribble down my formulas in peace.

I tend to agree with this point of view. While the movie is ambitious in its portrayal of the importance of math and the life of the man pursuing a greater meanining for numbers, it is a bit difficult to follow. It strives to hard for a concept that is far removed from the average person's view of the world and in the end is confused more because the rather odd life of the man investigating it. This cannot take away from the overall impact of the cinematography which is moving in that in portrays the lead actor's plight (his seizures, his paranoia) perfectly.
None of the actors particularly shine, though none should be working on daytime tv either.


May 17, 2003


I liked the movie, although I didn't find it very "mind blowing." It had an interesting plot line, I was amused by the Hasidic Jews, and the cinematography tricks were really nifty without seeming too pretentious or superfluous. Everything fit together nicely, it was a well thought-out movie, and I liked it.

Voted 3

Sep 7, 2002

by Fistgrrl

Darren Arnofsky's cinematography was absolutely breathtaking. I had no problem with the plot or the characters, and enjoyed the movie a great deal.

Voted 4.5

Manic Shampoo
Feb 9, 2004

Arriba! Arriba! Andale! Andale!

This movie gives indie art films a bad name.

I honestly don't remember much about it, except the scene with him picking a brain with horrible techno music blaring. I've mostly been successful at purging this horrible movie from my memory. Avoid at all costs.

Dec 16, 2003
Raw Esoteric

The cinematography was great, and the story and acting were at the very least above average. I did find it fairly hard to follow the first time I watched it, but I still enjoyed the movie.

Dec 29, 2003

don't kill children don't run them over

great movie, awesome plot, and insanely thought provoking

I gave it 5 easily.

Sep 9, 2003

Perform sex? Uh uh, I don't think I'm up to a performance, but I'll rehearse with you...

Matthew Libatique is a brilliant man behind the camera.

I do not see why Pi isn't the premiere Aronofsky work, and Requiem is.

Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

Overhyped, pretentious schlock. 2/5.

Feb 8, 2003

I absolutely hated this film. The only reason I didn't walk out was because I was in the middle of the row. The overly shaky cam got annoying atfter the first five minutes, and after 20, made me physically ill. I hated all the characters, didn't care about the "plot", and the only good thing about it was that I didn't pay for the experience (free student screening).


Jan 8, 2004

by R. Guyovich

I cannot comprehend why anyone would give this movie under a 4. The camera work was amazing, score couldn't be better, the plot, while maybe not entirely scientifically "plausable", was very engaging, and it's detail and depth (read : other people "not following" it) makes it worth watching several times.

amazing film, usually what I give as my favorite when someone asks.

did I mention the music was amazing?

Apr 8, 2004


I agree, a very interesting movie with an excellent score (Clint Mansell rocks) and excellent direction.


Nov 5, 2003

"Jesus christ man where did all these koreans come from!"

I really disliked the plot, It felt like they had to throw some bullshit together in order to show off the remarkably good visuals. It's a good film to watch if you have an eye for the position of the camera in relation to the scene as a whole, but that whole bullshit about sprials makes me want to vomit everytime they talk out of their rear end concerning it.


Mar 3, 2004

Beautiful movie, I wish more were created like this. Unfortunately, the ending leaves the viewer without the understanding of the formulas discussed during the movie, but hopefully that drives them to learn more about them. (Like the golden rule.)

Captain Fwiffo
Jan 23, 2004

Resident of Pluto

I thought this movie was good, but it's a bit overzealous, and it is so unpleasant that it literally gave me a headache to watch. Essentially, I feel that this movie needed to be pulled of just a little bit better for me to have to sit through its jarring, disorienting craziness.


Apr 5, 2004


Honestly one of the best films I have ever seen. I think that Aronofsky will end up being one of the better directors of our time. The plot was wonderful, and it really makes you think. I think everything about it was done superbly.


May 31, 2005

I can't remember
what she came here for

I can't remember
much of anything

I just watched this for the first time. Having seen Requiem for a Dream many times, I expected Pi to be an easier movie to watch. It turned out to be the exact opposite, though. The way it was shot was, while beautiful, horrifying. It's also a much more surreal film than Requiem. While it built up, I was getting tense. At the end, when he took a power drill to his head , I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Basically what I'm trying to say is that Arnofsky (who is probably my favorite director now) makes movies all about immersion, and Pi is probably the best example. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants a complex mindfuck of a movie with a surreal, immersing feel to it.


Sep 11, 2001
I obtained this title through beard tax.

Possibly the most overrated pretentious film i've seen in years, it tries to hide a lack of any tangible plot with bad editting and film-school cinematography. It's the kind of film pseudo-intellectuals love because it's designed for them, where odd camera angles, black and white film and bizarre intelligence related conspiracy theories are used to the max to show symbolism that either is stringent at best or completely unrelated to the plot and just there for people to study over.

It's the epitome of pretentious art films, heck it even has the obligatory Go game!


Dec 14, 2004

I think this is one of the most disappointing psychological thriller movies I've seen, especially considered how hyped it is. The math in it is poor and underdeveloped, the actual number Pi barely appears instead giving path to a weird amalgam of the Golden Ratio and gematria, after discarding a plot about finding patterns in Pi followed by discarding finding patterns in the stock market. It is so directionless, and the mysticism in it reminded me of The Da Vinci code except if its plot didn't go anywhere, otherwise it's just as shallow. Which feels really awkward for a movie named Pi.

The rest of the character-study strongly reminded of A Beautiful Mind, the plot is similar to a mix of it and Da Vinci Code. And if I have to re-watch a math-illiterate movie about an unlikable protagonist getting paranoid about numbers and conspiracy theories in his head, I'd much rather go for ABM.

The filmography was top-notch for what it tried to achieve. Darren Aronofsky can clearly do other styles, so my cynicism towards this style falls apart. I think the filmography works great for the film's premise... but it didn't matter to me because I so, so don't like the movie's execution. It's so shallow. It has none of the mind blowing aspects of any other well-regarded psychological thriller, to the point where I can't even say it's lightweight David Lynch, or Perfect Blue, which Aronofsky sure likes a bit too much because whether he denies the influence or acknowledges it, the similarities to the edit and cut style is everywhere even in this movie.


American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky acknowledged the similarities in his 2010 film Black Swan, but denied that Black Swan was inspired by Perfect Blue; his previous film Requiem for a Dream features a remake of a scene from Perfect Blue.

It feels like this movie really wants you to feel confused and distraught, as if part of the same narrative style from psychological thrillers like Memento, or most movies where the character is an unreliable narrator. However there is nothing confusing: The movie is extremely linear. And there is also no depth to its linearity. At no point the possibility that the main character's hallucinations are real or not is a game changer, as neither would lead to a change in the plot. I guess this is the trick that this movie tries to play, and where it completely falls apart to me in its flatness: There are no stakes from the outside world to the main character as he actively doesn't care about it, whether it's his hallucinations or truth, except for one over-the-top scene where he's threatened. But it's irrelevant, whether it's fake or real, all the problems go away with a magical trepanation. I hate to keep comparing it to later movies, but the best way I can describe the ending is like a weaker, lifeless version of the ending of Shutter Island.

The score reminds me of 80's Japanese Horror movies, especially the parts with gruesome fast cuts, very reminiscent of black and white Japanese body horror. But even then it's still like a pale imitation. As is the body horror aspect. To me this is what this movie can be summed up as: A pale imitation of things dozens of other movies have done far, far better, and the sum is not greater than the parts.

I almost gave it a 3 rather than 2.5 purely because this movie came before most other movies I've been comparing it to, and I didn't get to watch it before. But I think that's dishonest with what I feel. I didn't watch Psycho in 1960 and at no point did I think it was anything less than amazing. This movie on the other hand was just boring, extremely predictable for a psychological thriller and even if I exclude all the western movies from the 0s and 10s it is still overly derivative of much better 80s and 90s Japanese movies.


Elentor fucked around with this message at 15:23 on Dec 27, 2019

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