Darren Aronofsky is an interesting director, widely known for movies like Mother and Black swan, but this one is one of his more underrated movies.
Maximillian Cohen (played by Sean Gullette) is a reclusive mathematician living alone in his apartment, obsessed with mathematics and numbers. He believes that mathematics is the language of nature, Everything around us can be represented and understood from numbers, If you graph the numbers in any system, patterns emerge. Thus he has been restless in his attempts to find a certain pattern that can predict the behavior of the stock market.
Due to this, he has attracted the attention of a Wall Street firm that wants his discoveries for their own gain. While trying to dodge them he comes across Lenny, a fellow lover of number theorist, however, his interests come from a different perspective. He believes that there is a code that if cracked can unravel the secrets of the Torah.
The film managed to get only a limited theatre release and had a production budget of around 60 thousand dollars and yet it still managed to be very successful, gathering over 3 million dollars. Very impressive for a self-funded movie.
The movie itself was very fascinating. It was shot from the perspective of the main character and it was shot in a way that helped you get into his head. The camera was shaky, the music was eerie and creepy and it was all in black and white that fit the theme of the movie perfectly – is everything so black and white or is there something more, something deeper that we could never comprehend. Can we reach that information or are we not able to? All of the artistic elements were so subtle and minimalistic and yet so effective and fit perfectly.
The film tackles many themes as I pointed out before such as religion and science but the main focus of it is obsession and possibly schizophrenia and once you finish watching it, you are left with many things to discuss, which is one of my favorite things about movies. To be fair it does fall more under thriller than horror, but some scenes are so freaky that it’s a movie that I have to talk about here. It is the type of movie that this world needs more of.
Final verdict: 8.5/10