Pi (1998)

This one's a pretty good thriller about a paranoid math wiz (Sean 
Gullette) struggling to solve what he believes to be the predict-
able pattern of the stock market, while also treating (or at least 
*trying* to treat) the increasingly intense effects of an apparent 
brain disorder.  Are the two related?  And what does a cabal of 
Hasidic number-crunchers have to do with it??  Reportedly made for 
a mere $60,000, this starkly shot black-and-white feature is sur-
prisingly watchable-- thanks in no small part to a superb sound 
recording.  (However raw the visuals, methinks the soundtrack got a 
hefty boost post-big-bucks distribution deal.)  Only in a couple 
spots does this Sundance award-winner stumble:  shakily shot foot 
chases that are darn difficult to follow and the inclusion of, oh,  
twice as many hallucinations as are needed.  (Aren't such sequences 
a bit redundant, given that the atmosphere is already such a head-
spinner?)  Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, who won Best 
Director at the aforementioned film festival.  With Mark Margolis, 
Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart, and Stephen Pearlman.  (Rated "R"/85 

Grade: B

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: September 7, 1998

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