Ever wanted to see a movie that attempts something out of the ordinary? A movie where you have to really stress your mind, like really? I’m not talking about stuff like Inception. I’m talking of something much more hardcore, like Primer. Well, this is one of those messed-up movies you can recommend to your friends just to see the expressions on their faces while they struggle to understand what the hell is happening on the screen.

Max Cohen, the protagonist (and narrator) of the story, is a mathematician whose current project is to predict the direction the stock market is about to take, using his computer Euclid. But in a more general sense, Max believes that everything in the universe follows a pattern , and similarly, even the stock market must have an inherent pattern which no one has yet discovered. One day, when Max is outside, he happens to meet a person Lenny Meyer, who happens to be researching on the mathematical significance of the Hebrew alphabet and the Torah, and shows Max some fascinating implications of the math involved in the Hebrew words.

    Max Cohen, with his computer Euclid

One day, when Max conducts a routine experiment with Euclid to predict the next day’s stocks, the computer prints out seemingly-garbage results for the next day, along with a 200-odd digit number, and hangs. Max throws the results out in frustration, but when he visits his mentor’s house and reads the newspaper there, he finds that Euclid was right all along. And when Lenny talks of a 216-digit number which was supposed to be of immense importance to the Jewish world, he realizes that this has to do with the final thing his computer printed out before it crashed on him. Now begins a mad dash for the number, and from here, the film goes places, both real and imaginary.

Sean Gullette, in his portrayal of the main character Max Cohen, is amazing. Max’s psychosis is disturbingly unnerving, and the intensity of Sean’s acting can only be understated. Also, you never know if what is being shown on screen is really happening, or if it is only a product of his imagination. He suffers from frequent cluster headaches and hallucinations, and they are truly freaky to watch. Ben Shenkman, playing Lenny, and Max’s mentor Sol, played by Mark Margolis, are great as well. The atmosphere of the film is tense throughout, and really builds the suspense in the viewer.

The movie, although a great attempt, isn’t without its flaws. The technical flaws aren’t always noticeable, but if you are observant and knowledgeable, you will notice a few goofs. Still, this movie is worth watching for the thought put into it, and the acting prowess on exhibition.

RATING : 8.3/10

PROS :
– unreliable narrator
– atmosphere
– concept

CONS :
– some noticeable goofs
– may get a little bit too disturbing for some

 

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