La Habitación de Fermat (Fermat's Room) (2009)
Question: Are you good at math? Can you easily solve puzzles, riddles, or logic problems? What if your life depended on it? Could you think under such pressure? After having a pretty crappy day today I decided the only thing that would make it end much better was to watch a film. It relaxes me. But when I finally hit play on the TiVo recorded movie, Fermat's Room from the Sundance Channel, I ended up feeling slightly stupid and my nerves heightened. Why is that? Well, let's just say that if I didn't have my fingers I couldn't count to 10. Yes, I am not good in math, plus the premise of the movie puts you slightly on edge. Fermat's Room - a Spanish film - is a thriller and what a perfect genre to take you out of your element, right? I laid down on my bed, letting the day slowly slip away and it worked because quickly I had to keep up with the subtitles (yes, these were a little quick for me on this film) with the opening scene with a rather handsome fellow talking about numbers. He asked a couple of girls if they were good at math and if not they should just walk away now. Yes, I considered turning off the movie at that moment, but I was actually fascinated with the prime number theory he discussed. Not that I understood it - at all, however, the movie had me at that point. Yay! Soon you are introduced to three other mathematicians, 2 men and 1 woman. They are all sent a riddle (or enigma as it was called in this film) to solve and if they solved it they would receive an invitation to an "enigma solving gathering or party". The four each solve the enigma and are given instructions to meet at a certain place and time with very strict instructions: No personal information shared and they are each given a name of a famous mathematician that they must use throughout the entire evening. I really don't want to say more because my favorite genre requires me to keep you all in the dark so you can appreciate the film if you chose to watch it. However, I will say what happened next was totally mesmerizing. Even if you aren't good at math or problem solving it doesn't matter. The intensity of the plot keeps you completely focused on what's happening and wondering if they will solve the next puzzle and their lives. Yes, I am stopping there. Nope, I am not gonna tell you anymore about Fermat's Room. Enjoy. Directed (and co-written) by Luis Piedrahita, Notro Films, 2007. Starring: Alejo Sauras, Lluís Homar, Santi Millán, Federico Luppi and Elena Ballesteros Genre: Mystery, Thriller. My favorite thing: It helped me forget about my day. My least favorite thing: That I wasn't better in math - well, we all have our talents and this one reminded me that math is NOT mine. Rating: NR Length: 88 minutes Review: 7 out of 10
Tired of Previews
The film starts off with Goldbach's conjecture - that every even number greater than two can be written as the sum of two prime numbers (e.g. 10 = 3 + 7). I'm geeky, I like that kind of thing. So I had a great time watching this hybrid of SLEUTH and a U certificate SAW as four top mathematicians (two of which also happen to be young and cute) end up in a high-concept shrinking room which can only be stopped by solving a series of admittedly not-very-mathematical-at-all puzzles. And yes, I did press the Pause button so I could work out the answers first. so double-geeky me then .