Pi the Movie

Essay by nelly0University, Bachelor's April 2004

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Pi is an independent mathematical sci-fi thriller that pushes the envelope of the most controversial ideas of life itself, broad religion versus mathematics and order. In this film a brilliant number theorist, Maximilian Cohen, teeters on the brink of insanity as he searches for an underlying meaning of an elusive numerical code that is said to bare the secrets of the universe. Max lives in Chinatown, New York in a dark, claustrophobic apartment that is wall to wall consumed by his homemade super computer cleverly named Euclid. Cohen, a factual character, who to this day is continuously itching at the wonders of the meaning of pi, is played by Sean Gullette. In the film Max quotes his assumptions: "Mathematics is the language of nature. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature." This philosophy is as delicate as any.

Some believe in fait and chance, while others, like myself, construe a hypothesis that there is logical reason hidden behind everything in life, and that somewhere down the road there is eventually a simple cause and effect to any hurdle our universe can toss in front of us. The well known Chaos Theory, which supports ideas such as: Monsoons in Hawaii can inadvertently be caused by a slight pressure change from a migrating butterfly flapping its wings in Japan, is the standard that Cohen chooses to base his solitary, paranoia consumed life as he searches for a pattern in the most complex chaotic system known to man, the stock market. Max uses this man made "organism" as his data set. As he grows closer to an omega truth, he is haunted by sociological handicaps, the very problems that every human suffers day to day.