I was recently happily surprised to see PI on Amazon Prime, and gave it a second watch after originally catching it in the theater in 1998. Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky of BLACK SWAN and MOTHER! fame, the film is a mind-bending exploration of numbers and how they underpin and characterize all existence, brilliant for its ideas spanning Pi, the Fibonacci constant, the game GO, mathematics history, and Kabbalah. I enjoyed it far more the second time around.
Shot in grainy black and white, the film follows Max, a mathematician obsessed with the idea that since all matter and activity can be expressed mathematically, there is an underlying pattern in even vastly chaotic and complex systems, which he aims to capture by trying to model the stock market. His research catches the attention of his mentor Saul, a mathematician who suffered a stroke after making a strange discovery, a shadowy Wall Street firm that wants to control the market, and a group of Hasidic Jews who believe the ultimate secret of the Torah is contained in a mathematical code within it.
Max discovers a strange number he initially dismisses as nonsense but may just be the key to understanding Creation. But this understanding, while a unique gift, is too much for the human brain to handle, and it carries an incredible cost.
Overall, this is simply a brilliant film for its interesting ideas. Recommended.