After watching Satoshi Kon’s 2004 psychological anime Paranoia Agent, I was hoping to find something as paranoid, off-the-wall and disjointed as that. I looked to the famous 1997 Kon film Perfect Blue, about an actress with battling personalities. I found it interesting, but nowhere near as engaging is Paranoia Agent.
Through Wikipedia, I found that the director Darren Aronofsky was heavily influenced by Kon’s style, and since he was fairly successful, I decided I would have to try one of his films out. (I would learn later that he directed Black Swan)
Long story short, I settled on Pi, Aronofsky’s debut. Being a math minor, I was a bit skeptical of how well the mathematical premise could be utilized. I was pleasantly surprised.
The intense nervousness, the rough two-toned black and white picture, the acting… so freaky, so paranoid, so glorious! While watching, I noticed similarities to Black Swan in the escalating-ly violent and gory nature of the characters paranoia, unlike that of Kon, who can sometimes incorporate comedy into his work.
The narrative is a classic battle for the truth against a dangerous organization (the other). Recommended.