Monday, September 12, 2005


Pi (1998) by Darren Aronofsky

Is it insanity to know the True Name of God?

We start with our hero going about his daily, albeit a little strange, life.  He’s on the brink of something, but he’s not sure what it is and, of course, neither are we.

Here we have an ├╝ber-math-geek with definite paranoid and obsessive-compulsive behavioral problems.  Oh, and migraines too.

A side note about migraine.  As I am a migraineur, I can relate to the episodes that our hero experiences.  It’s one of the best depictions of an attack I’ve come across in my reading and viewing.  It is impossible to explain to someone who has not experienced one, or more to the point, to someone who doesn’t get them all the time.  Watch Max in this movie, take note of his increasing inability to distinguish reality from hallucination during an attack.  If you are a sufferer, get help now.  It is possible to find relief.  Yes, it’s only temporary, yes it doesn’t solve the problem, but there’s no reason to lose an entire day or two to the explosions in your head.

Max has a breakthrough in his number crunching, but it looks like a failure.  Suffice it to say, Max goes through a lot of crap as a result of his discovery.

Here’s the point of the movie, though:  At first this looks like the typical Domains of God and Mammon examination of the human condition.  Who is it that really has the right to know the True Name of God?  What we find is that neither the spiritual nor the temporal deserve that knowledge.  It is meant for the individual.  Each person, on their own, must come up with the answer, the understanding of the True Name, for themselves.  It is a paradox of universal and unique.  It is the responsibility of the individual to seek out the universal, but once that knowledge is gained, that individual will be forever changed.  

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