I realize that this is geek sacrilege, but I'm only a casual fan of Darren Aronofsky. Requiem For a Dream didn't blow me away like it did every other fringe cinephile. I happened to love The Wrestler, however, so I do see some of the things that Aronofsky's most vocal admirers see. With regards to Pi, I'm on the fence. I actually think that it would have been more effective if it wasn't so inaccessible. I've never been much for mindfucks. I don't need everything spelled out for me, but as a viewer, I disengage when I feel like the film is just trying to confuse me.
Sean Gullette is fantastic as Max, a man obsessed with numbers. He keeps tabs on the stock market in the hopes of finding patterns in the ceaseless fluctuation of the economy. After a chance meeting with a Rabbi, he is convinced that there exists a number, a formula that underlies life itself. All of the characters are interesting and well-written. None of them come off as thin or trite, even the ones that only show up in two or three scenes. I took a liking to Sol, a former professor that Max once studied under. Mark Margolis's performance is methodically paternal.
The stark black-and-white cinematography stabs at your eyes and the hyperactive editing that Aronofsky is so fond of shuffles your brain cells. Visually, Pi is flawless. By the time it was over, I was paranoid. Unfortunately, the third act lost me. I was frazzled by the bizarre complexities of the script and spent too much time trying to figure them out instead of relating to the themes or the characters. Maybe that's my fault. I didn't feel like I got what I was supposed to get out of the experience. I didn't have much fun either.
In summation, I appreciate Pi for what it is, but I didn't enjoy it as much as other genre loons did. I can't imagine myself ever watching it again. I wonder if my violent hatred for mathematics is factoring into my ambivalence. Either way, someone tell Rachel Weisz that I'm available and give her my number.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:28 PM