Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thoughts on Pi (not the number... I don't want to have a stroke or go insane)

Max is obsessed with figuring out what the 216 digit number's significance is. Towards the end, we find out that Max's obsession was not driven by materialistic or spiritual reasons. If he was driven by materialistic reasons, then he would have gladly cooperated with the Wall Street people and would have exploited the stock market for money. If he was driven by spiritual reasons, then he would have cooperated with the Jews. So what was he driven by? A strong passion for problem solving and pattern searching? His insanity? It is sort of the chicken and the egg thing... which came first: his insanity or his obsession with the number?

I tend to think that the conversation that Max has with Sol earlier in the film was Sol trying to protect Max from going down a similar road that he had. I think Sol says "you can find patterns anywhere if you are looking for them" in order to convince Max that this 216 digit number is nothing. But we see by Sol's second stroke and consequent death that Sol didn't really believe that this number is insignificant. In fact Sol himself had some sort of obsession with the number. All of this makes me think that it is the math that is making the madness, not the madness making the math.

I still don't know what to make of the ending. Maybe it is a happy ending because the madness had left. Similar to D-503 in We, Max has rid himself of the sickness but has also sacrificed his chance to find purpose and meaning. Then again, maybe none of that really happened.


Sterbenz said...

interesting thoughts. i really like the chicken and the egg idea. that is a very cool way of thinking about what happened in the movie. nice job.

Crista said...

Did you read sterbenz's blog post on the possible endings for Pi? Maybe Max died at the end.

emma said...

do you think sol was trying to protect max from his obsession with the number, or was sol's own obsession with the number trying to get max out of the way so he himself could figure it out? and if the number was on the paper that max picked up from the table after sol had another stroke and max burned it without looking at it, then sol did save max in an ironic turn of events.