First-timer Darren Aronofsky presents a profound and genuine interest in numbers in this offbeat and seclusive film. Made on a shoestring budget, Aronofsky's objective wasn't to replicate formulaic box-office hits, but rather to fascinate film fanatics and critics. He succeeded, largely due to a well-balanced symbiosis between science and mysticism. Add to that an expressive film style (used effectively to portray Max's paranoia) which is a clear predecessor to Aronofsky's signature film Requiem For a Dream. As often is with stories which try to be as clever and existential as this, Aronofsky's script cannot quite live up to the standards which the film sets for it, but Pi does remain interesting throughout - both for mind and soul. Aronofsky-favourite Mark Margolis is the film's stand-out performer in the role as Max's mentor.