Pi - By Darren Aronosfsky
Originally featured at: Screensource
TITLES EXPLODE TO WHITE
SLOW FADE TO:
EXTREME CLOSE-UP of MAXIMILIAN COHEN'S eyes popping open.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT -CHINATOWN FLAT – NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT
Max jolts his head from his desk and tries to orient him-self
in the darkness. He has intelligent eyes set in an exhausted,
Then he notices the blood dripping from his nose. Max wipes
Max's voiceover begins:
Monday, September first.
INT. BATHROOM - DAWN
A pull-string light flips on. Max examines his bloody nose in
The alchemist awakes.
"Turn lead into gold, Max,
lead into gold." Today, I find it.
Max's hand as three unmarked, circular pills hit his palm.
Then, he slams the pills into the back of his mouth.
Max replaces the cap on a plastic bottle of unmarked
prescription drugs. He drinks from the sink and splashes a
generous amount of water onto his head and face, cleaning his
He wipes his nose and examines the last remnants of blood on
his fingertip. Then, he dips his finger under the tap.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - MAIN ROOM - DAY
Max's room is constantly dark because the windows are blacked
out. He flips on his desk lamp.
A tiny ANT crawls across his desk. He looks at it for a moment
before getting angry and squashing it.
Sitting on the desk are three computer monitors, which Max
Then he pops on more lights and more switches. We pull back
revealing that Max's apartment looks more like the inside of a
computer than a human's home.
The room is knee-high in computer parts of all shapes and
sizes. The walls are covered with circuit boards. Cables hang
from the ceiling like vines in a Brazilian rain forest. They
all seem to be wired together forming a monstrous homemade
This is EUCLID, Max's creation. The computer is alive with
sounds and lights.
Max works on Euclid with his solder and drill. He cares for
the machine as if it were his dream car
Heat's been getting
to Euclid. Feel it most in
the afternoon when I run the
set. Have to keep the fans on
all night from now on.
Otherwise, everything is
running topnotch. The stack
of 286's is now faster than
Columbia's computer science
department. I spent a couple
hundred dollars. Columbia's
cost? Half a million?
Max checks the peephole on His front door. No one is there. He
unbolts the five lock and slides into the hall.
INT. APARTMENJ HALLWAY - DAY
As he secures his apartment, a Young girl named JENNA runs up
to him. Her MOM, down the hall, looks apologetic.
Jenna's eyes light up and she pulls out her Fisher Price
Max, Max! Can we do one?
(Over and over again)
What's three hundred
and twenty-two times four
hundred and ninety-one.
Jenna types it into her calculator. Max finishes locking his
One hundred fifty-eight thousand,
a hundred two. Right?
(Eyes light up)
Max heads down the staircase.
Jenna screams after him.
divided by twenty-two.
Three point three one eight one
eight one eight...
EXT. CHINATOWN - DAY
Max watches people bustle through the busy intersections of
Chinatown. The streets are clogged with people.
Somewhere in there.
Somewhere. I know it's right
in front of me. The pattern.
They say it's chaos, it can't
be understood, too much
EXT. ELECTRONIC MEGADUMP - DAY
Max scavenges electronic parts as he carefully navigates an
endless dump for old and rotting computers.
History it's there.
structuring, hiding, right
beneath the surface.
He unscrews a random IBM Board from a keyboard and slides it
into his pocket.
EXT PLAYGROUND – DAY
on Max looking up at something as he reclines on a public
The cycling of disease epidemics,
the wax and wane of Caribou populations
in the Arctic, sunspot cycles,
the rise and fall of the
Nile and yes! the New York Stock
Exchange, they are all the
on a tree branch - shaking gently in the wind.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF STOCK TICKER
Bright stock quotes drift across the screen.
I'll find this structure,
this order, this perfection.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DAY
Max stares intensely at the ticker on the small TV that sits
next to his monitors.
Turn lead into gold.
The first. Right here. Right
here. With math. The numbers
of the stock market are my
lead. When I find the
pattern, then I will find
Max watches the right edge of the screen where the numbers
appear. He wants to see what's before that edge...
Max slaps the RETURN button on his computer.
The phone starts ringing.
Max eyes it suspiciously.
Just then, Euclid starts printing results on an old dot-
Max suspiciously answers The phone.
Maximilian Cohen, please.
Hi. my name is Marcy Dawson.
I'm a partner with the predictive
strategy firm Lancet-Percy. Can I
speak with Mr. Cohen, please?
I told you...
The printer finishes printing.
Mr. Cohen! How
are you? It's been a long
time. Sorry I haven't been in
touch. But I was hoping you
would allow me to take you to
lunch tomorrow, say one
Sorry, I can't.
We're very anxious to talk
with you, sir
I'm prepared to
make you a generous...
Max hurries to wrap up the conversation.
I don't take offers for
my research. You know that.
Sorry, I Couldn't help you.
Mr. Cohen, give
me a moment...
But before Marcy finishes, Max hangs up. He rips off the
printout and heads to the front door.
He checks the peephole, His landlady. MRS. OVADIA, is sweeping
the hallway stairs humming a turn-of-the century (the last
one, not this one) tune.
Max waits a moment. He tousles his hair. Then he checks again.
She's gone. He opens his locks and releases several bolts.
INT.MAX'S BUILDING HALLWAY - DAY
Max locks his front door. Meanwhile, his next-door neighbor,
DEVI MINSTRY, a sexy young Indian woman, is just getting home.
Max looks away and tries to get his door locked.
She's weighted down by a bunch of bags filled with food.
I grabbed you some
Devi heads over to Max with her bags of food. She looks up at
Devi hands the bags to Max. Then she goes to pat down his
Hair. Max retreats.
What are you doing?
Your hair, you can't go
out like that. Don't worry.
It's fine. It's fine.
Devi pats down his hair. Max is humiliated.
You need a mom.
Max hands back the bags and heads quickly for the stairs.
I have to go.
An embarrassed Max takes the bag.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
At the counter, Max stirs cream into his coffee. Then he takes
three pills from the plastic bottle and drops them in his
Max flips past a full-page ad in the paper that reads
LANCET-PERCY 86% ACCURACY (ONLY GOD IS PERFECT).
Max flips the page before he or we can absorb it. He compares
stock quotes in the Wall Street Journal against his printout.
Sixteen, twenty-seven. Results: Euclid
shows tomorrow's Dow closing
up by four points. Anomalies
include PRONET at sixty-fire
and a quarter, a career high.
Possible explanations, either
A, an error in the June fifth
algorithm, or B, Euclid's
main processor is running a
Max marks up the paper with lines and diagrams as he ponders
his bits and misses.
Then a puff of cigarette smoke drifts by and succeeds in
bothering Max. He fans it away when—
VOICE FROM OFFSCREEN
Oh sorry, am I bothering you?
Max shrugs and looks over.
The voice belongs to LENNY MEYER—a bearded man in his late 20s
sucking on a cigarette.
On closer inspection, something is off. It seems that Lenny is
an Orthodox Jew. His yarmulke sticks out Slightly from his
wide-brimmed hat and the fringes from his tsi-tsis hang out
from the bottom of his untucked shirt.
I'll put it out.
(Which he does)
The name's Lenny Meyer
Lenny sticks out his hand. Max responds with a small nod.
And you are?
Max shrugs and turns back to his work.
I'm a Jew, too.
Do you practice?
No, I'm not interested
Have you ever
heard of Kabbalah?
I'm sorry, I'm very busy.
I understand...it's just that
it's a very exciting time in
our history. Right now is a
critical moment in time.
Yes, it's very exciting.
Have you ever put on Tefillin?
Max has no idea what Lenny's talking about. Lenny pulls a
leather box with black leather straps from his pocket.
Tefillin. You know Tefillin.
I know it looks strange.
But it's an amazing
tradition that has a
tremendous amount of power.
It's a mitzvah for all
Jewish men to do. Mitzvahs,
good deeds, are spiritual
food for our hearts and our
And then Max notices that his thumb is twitching He grabs it
They purify us and bring us
closer to God. You want to try it?
Just then, Max pays his bill and prepares to leave.
I gotta go...
Are you okay? Max? Max?
I'm sorry, bye.
Well, maybe some other time.
INT. MAX'S BATHROOM - NIGHT
Max splashes water on his face.
Please God, Let it be a
He pulls a metal vaccinating gun out of the medicine cabinet.
Then be loads it with a small bottle of medicine. He rolls up
his sleeve, dabs alcohol on his arm, and fires the gun into
Second headache in under
twenty-four hours. They're
getting more frequent
now...more painful, too. Drugs
don't work, just take the
edge off of it. Just gotta
wait for the nosebleed.
Relief comes from my nose.
Next door, he hears Devi and her boyfriend talking.
So I gotta make this drop off
in Harlem and on the way down
there's these three kids
Max slaps himself in the face a few times.
I was tight, so...
Max watches his thumb twitch. And then pain shoots through
him. He grabs the right side of his head, massages it, and
pushes it in with his fingers.
In the mirror, he examines the right side of his scalp. He
Max walks back into the
and sits down in a chair. The lamp is blinding so he
snaps it off. Only the bathroom light lights the room. He
takes a few breaths.
Leave me alone.
His neighbors conversation begins to build in volume
So I drop them off in the
Village and they dart.
Max gags and rubs his head.
I get out, grab my bat and
start running. One of the kids,
maybe sixteen, I catch a block
later he's cursing at me, calling
me a Paki bastard. So I whacked him,
right in the head.
The pain seems to disappear. Max looks at his hand that was
rubbing his bead.
Then he looks at the front door. The doorknob seems to
Something begins knocking on Max's door. The knocking gets
louder and louder then the locks begin to unlock.
FARROUHK's words begin to overpower Max.
I'm kicking the bastard in the
ribs banging his ass, knocking his
head against the curb, harder
and harder, I fucking lost
it. A hot dog guy starts
screaming "You're cracking his
skull, you're cracking his
skull." So they pulled me off
of him and calmed me down.
Cops said he had it coming to
Then something starts pounding the door. The doorknob quivers,
the locks unbolt. The chains are the only thing keeping out
the intruder. The door shakes and the chains are strained.
MAX is paralyzed with terror.
And then the door smashes open. Blinding light fills the room
and we crash into the
BLINDING WHITE VOID
A moment of silence, then we
INT. BATHROOM - DAWN
A phone rings incessantly. Max's eyes pop open. He's scrunched
up in a corner of the room, squashed beneath the sink.
His nose is bleeding.
Max, crawls into the
and picks up the phone. He pinches his nose and tilts his head
Mr. Cohen. Marcy
Dawson here again I was just
looking over my schedule and
I realized I'll be in your
neighborhood tomorrow around
Max heads to the
and checks the locks. He is barely listening to Marcy
The locks seem secure.
Marcy Dawson from
Lancet-Percy I'm so anxious
to meet you. It will be worth
it—for both of us I promise.
See you at your house at
My house...how do...
Oh, don't worry,
I got your address from
Columbia. So three it is.
Looking forward to it.
Max tries to stop her but, before he can Marcy hangs up.
A bewildered Max slowly hangs up.
Max checks the peephole - all clear.
Then, he opens his -
which is filled with random computer parts and boxes.
He pulls a thick neuroscience book from a shelf in the back of
the closet. He almost knocks over an old dusty brass
microscope on the shelf.
Max flips through the book. It contains old plates
illustrating the brain. Max examines some of the diagrams.
EXT. S0L'S HALLWAY - DAY Max rings the bell on an apartment
A few moments pass, and then SOL ROBESON opens the door.
Sol is a wise-looking man in his early 70's. He walks with
difficulty, leaning out of breath on a wooden cane.
His arms are covered with faded Russian prison tattoos and he
speaks with a thick Eastern European accent, He's happy to see
Max! How are you7
Max is happy to see Sol, but he's a bit bashful and
EXT. SOL'S STUDY - MOMENTS LATER
TIGHT ON the Japanese game of Go being played. Sol is white
and Max is black. Sol's moves are secure and controlled while
Max is hesitant.
Stop thinking, Max, just
feel. Use your intuition.
It's the only way to get into
What did you think of Hamlet?
I didn't get to it.
It's been a month.
You haven't taken
a single break.
I'm so close, Sol. I'm
so close but I just can't
Sol changes the subject. He feeds his goldfish and points to
one of them.
Have you met the new
fish my niece bought me? I
named her Icarus. After you.
My renegade pupil. You fly
too high, you'll get burned.
Max looks up at Sol.
The more I see you, the
more I see myself thirty
years ago. My greatest pupil.
Published at 16, Ph.D. at 20.
But life isn't just
mathematics. I spent forty
years looking for patterns in
Pi, I found nothing.
You found things...
I found things, but not a
INT. MOVING TRAIL - DAY
Max sits in the corner of a rickety New York City subway car.
The train is almost completely deserted.
Max looks down at his hand. He opens his palm and reveals a
black Go chip.
second, eighteen twelve. If
Sol hadn't gotten sick who
knows where math would be. He
spent years in the numbers of
Pi. Searching for meaning, for
Max notices a SKINNY MAN in a business suit staring at him.
The man catches Max's eye and looks away, but then he quickly
looks back, making Max turn away.
He looks down at his Wall Street journal and draws a circle
with its diameter then he writes "A=pir2" and "C=2pir." Next
he writes "pi=3.14159..."
Three point one
four...off into infinity
and maybe insanity. Somewhere
in there he wanted sanity.
Sanity like he found in the
circles Pi represented.
Simple, sane circles. If only
the stock market had circles.
Some type of sanity. Some
type of form, of shape.
Suddenly, Max hears someone singing. Max looks up. It is the
Skinny Man and he's singing with passion. It's all very
strange to Max, who nervously looks away.
And then the singing stops—
mid-verse Max looks up and the man is gone. Vanished. Max
looks around—no one in Sight.
INT. APARTMENT STAIRCASE - DAY
Max heads up the stairs to his apartment. Just then, a toy
SLINKY appears from nowhere marching down the stairs.
Max stops and waits until the Slinky hits his foot. He picks
it up and looks at it.
He looks around wondering what's going on. Then Jenna leans
out over a railing and starts laughing at Max.
INT. COFFEE SHOP-DAY
Max sits at the counter frantically looking at the Wall Street
Journal. He plops three pills into his coffee.
He draws circles and other shapes across the page.
Max is interrupted by a puff of smoke. At the same time,
someone touches his shoulder and says:
Hey, Max, how you doing?
(Motioning to the cigarette)
I'll put it out.
(Which be does)
So, what do you do?
Um, I work with computers
Really? What type of math?
Number theory. Mostly
Number theory? No
way, I work in theory, too.
Not traditional, though...
(Points to his yarmulke)
I work with the Torah.
(Awed by the coincidence)
(Passing it of as a coincidence)
Yeah. You know Hebrew is
all numbers. It's all math.
Lenny pulls out a worn' dog-eared Bible from his pocket. There
are paper slips marking what seems like every other page. When
he opens it up,
Max sees that the pages are marked up by highlighter pens,
notes and diagrams.
Lenny points to the text. EXTREME CLOSE-UP of Hebrew letters.
Here, look...the ancient
Jews used Hebrew as their
numerical system. Each
letter is a number.
Lenny pulls out a pen and grabs Max's Journal. He writes on it
as he talks.
You see...The Hebrew "A," the
number 1. The Hebrew "B,"
Bet, is two. You can take any
Hebrew text and turn them into
a long string of numbers.
The waitress refills Max's coffee.
The Torah is just
a long string of numbers.
Some say that it's a long
code sent to us from God.
Satisfied, Lenny lights up a cigarette and takes a drag.
Kind of interesting.
(Proud of himself)
Yeah, like take the
Hebrew word for, say, the
Garden of Eden, Kadem. Kuf,
Dalei Mem...Kuf is a
hundred. Daled, four Mem,
forty. They equal one hundred
and forty-four. Then take the
tree of knowledge...in
the garden, Aat Ha Haim, it
equals two hundred and
thirty-three. Now you can take
that number and...
They're Fibonacci numbers.
The Fibonacci sequence.
Italian mathematician, thirteenth
century. If you divide
a hundred and forty-four into
two hundred and thirty-three,
it approaches theta.
The Greek symbol for the
golden ratio. The golden
Lenny exhales the smoke. Max quickly graphs the number on his
Wall Street Journal.
You're right, I never saw
that before. That's the series
you find in nature. Like the
face of a sunflower.
Wherever there's spirals.
You see, there's math everywhere.
Lenny's smoke drifts by Max's eyes.
SLOW MOTION: MAX'S POV of smoke spirals spinning in front of
SLOW MOTION: Max looks down at his coffee cup. He pours cream
into his coffee. It shoots up and mixes with the black coffee
forming spirals in the mug.
SLOW MOTION: Max looks at the spiral he just drew on the Wall
NORMAL SPEED Suddenly, Max stands up.
Oh my God...
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DAY
Max draws spirals all over his Wall Street Journal. Then he
takes a thick black marker and draws a giant spiral across the
Max is ecstatic as he pounds code into the computer takes
moments to wake up, drops pills, and drinks a Ginseng soda.
Tuesday, September second.
Twenty-twenty-two. Sol! Sol!
Sol! Shapes in the market.
Why not? And they're spirals!
Max traces a big circle on the journal. Then, he cuts it out
with an X-acto blade. He cuts out the middle of the circle so
that be has a thin loop like one of those futuristic frisbees.
He tears part of the loop and stretches the circle out in
front of him into a spiral.
A circle spread out overtime.
It's open-ended. It has a
beginning and it grows and
changes through time. If I
can find where it fits, if I
can spin it and lock it into
a group of numbers, then I
can calculate the future.
Lead into gold. Chaos into
order Madness into sanity. Pain
into bliss. Perfection.
Max is about to slap RETURN but he stops himself—he's nervous.
Next door, Devi and her boyfriend are making love. He looks at
the wall with disdain. Then he looks back at the screen,
shrugs and confidently slaps RETURN on his keyboard.
Stock prices float across the screen. Max can't believe his
eyes—the quotes are absurd.
And then, Euclid crashes. The electricity in Max's room flips
off. The numbers on Max's screen fade to black. In near (minus
TIGHT ON A FUSE BOX
Max removes a fuse. He replaces it with a penny.
Max tries to reboot Euclid, but nothing happens. He tries a
second time, but nothing happens.
Devi and Farrouhk are still at it.
Max puts on a pair of latex gloves. He dons a surgical mask.
He climbs up to a loft above his monitors. A glass case, fed
cool air by a vent tube, encases some computer parts. He
carefully removes the front glass cover.
Then he gets it off he's stunned. Not only have the chips
melted down, but a strange flaky substance covers the board.
Max grabs his face, frustrated.
Deri and Farroakk are giggling, having a great time. Max
stares at the wall.
Then he angrily throws Euclid's mainframe onto the ground It
lands with a SMASH!
Under the mainframe is a small city of ANTS. They scramble for
cover. Max furiously attacks them, stomping them out with his
Then he jumps on the smashed mainframe. He slides to
the ground and covers his face.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY
TIGHT ON a tree branch shaking manically in the wind.
Max sits on a park bench watching the branch shake. It
He pulls out the printout of his picks and examines them.
Wednesday, September third,
seven-fifteen. Results: AAR
at fourteen and a half—low,
very low. ABR at six and a
half—jeez. Six and a half, ABR
hasn't been beneath twenty in
ten years. Conclusion:
Simple. There is no pattern.
No pattern. Chaos, chaos, all
He crumples up his picks and tosses them into a public trash
INT. SOL'S STUDY - DAY
Sol and Max play Go. Sol is peaceful while Max is distant.
Max plays a piece absently. Sol counters with a deafening
atari. Max whispers:
Euclid crashed. I lost
all my data, my hardware.
I don't know, first I got
these horrible picks. Then
Euclid spits out some
numbers. Never saw anything
like it and then it fries.
The whole machine just
You have a printout?
The picks, the number?
I threw it out.
What was the number it
I don't know, just a long
string of digits.
I don't know.
What was it, a
hundred and fifty, a
thousand, two hundred
sixteen!? How many?
I don't know. Probably
around two hundred.
I dealt with
some bugs back in my Pi days.
I was wondering if it was
similar to one I ran into.
Sol begins to feed his fish. He points to one.
Have you met Archimedes.
The one with the black spot.
Remember Archimedes of
Syracuse? The King asks
Archimedes to determine if a
present he's received was
actually solid gold. Unsolved
problem at the time. It
tortures the great Greek
mathematician for weeks.
Insomnia haunts him and he
twists and turns on his bed
for nights on end. Finally,
his equally exhausted wife,
she's forced to share a bed
with this genius, convinces
him to take a bath, to relax.
While stepping into the tub
he observes the bathwater
rise as he enters. Displacement.
A way to determine volume.
And thus, a way to
determine density, weight
over volume. And thus,
Archimedes solves the
problem. He screams
"Eureka!"—Greek for "I found
it!"—and is so overwhelmed he
runs dripping naked through
the streets to the King's
castle to report his
discovery. Now, what's the
moral of the story.
That a breakthrough will
Wrong. The point of the
story is the wife. Listen to
your wife, she will give you
perspective. Meaning, you
need a break, Max, you have
to take a bath, otherwise
you'll get nowhere. There will
be no order, only chaos.
Go home and take a bath.
PUBLIC BENCH - MOMENTS LATER
Max waits for his train on an empty platform.
Just then, he hears a DRIPPING sound. Max looks up and notices
something across the tracks on the other platform. He can't
quite make it out because his vision is blocked by columns.
He gets up and spots a Young Hasidic Man standing at him.
Blood drips from the Man's hand. Max doesn't know what to make
A TRAIN SWISHES BY -
INT. MOVING TRAIN - LATER
Max reads an ad that says In big block letters 'MOSHIAC IS
COMING!' He checks out a few of the other passengers. Then he
notices a man reading a newspaper across from him.
The headline reads: 'MARKET TAKES NOSE-DIVE. Max jumps up and
approaches the man.
Hey, excuse me, can I see
The man hands Max the paper. Max scans the article. Then He
quickly turns to the listings. His finger barrels down a
column. It stops at ABR.
Six and a half.
Max looks up the column for AAR.
Fourteen and a half. Oh,
Max stumbles toward the doors. He looks out the window: into
the darkness of the tunnel.
(Out of breath)
My God. My God.
(Gets pumped to himself)
SKINNY MAN (V.O.)
Hey, paper, please!
Max hands the paper back and looks at the man for the first
time. It is the Skinny Man he saw earlier.
Max gets suspicious and moves into the next car.
AT GRAND STREET
Max exits. He notices that the Skinny Man gets off - one car
down - as well.
He hustles toward the exit. As he's about to turn a corner he
looks back. The man seems to be following him.
He dodges around a corner and heads up a staircase.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY
He seems to have lost him, when he notices a business-woman
with a pretty face heading right toward him. It is MARCY
Mr. Cohen! Perfect timing.
Marcy sticks out her hand. Max, not knowing what else to do,
I was just waiting for you.
I thought you stood me up,
so I was going to head home.
Who are you?
Oh...Marcy Dawson. From
Lancet Percy. We were
supposed to meet at three.
I'm sorry, I don't...
Marcy hasn't let go of Max's hand.
She guides him toward a large black street limo that's just
I can't tell you what a
pleasure it is to finally
meet you. I've studied
your papers for years.
I have something
you won't be able to say no
to. Why don't we take a spin
in the limo?
No, no, no, really, I
We're excited by your work.
We can't wait to discuss...
Max attempts to pull away but Marcy is firm on leading him to
the car. Meanwhile, the Shinny man is heading right at them.
The CHAUFFEUR reaches out to him. Max yanks his arm free and
runs away. He whips around a corner.
INT. BODEGA - DAY
Max barrels into the grocery store and buys a Journal. He
heads to the back of the store and lays the paper across the
juice section. He checks the listing.
On the nose. On the damn nose.
Max turns the page on the Journal and sees the Lancet-Percy
ad. Then he notices one of the bodega owners staring at him.
EXT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DAY
Max scouts his front door. The coast is clear.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DAY
Max examines the smashed Euclid mainframe. He uncovers some of
the strange filo-like substance. He carefully touches it. Then
he grabs a small pinch of it.
He examines it near a light bulb. He can't guess what it is.
He sniffs it. He carefully tastes it with the very tip of his
tongue. He still doesn't have a clue.
Max opens his closet. He pulls out his dusty brass microscope.
He dusts it off. Next, he pulls out a slide Kit.
Max places the instrument on the windowsill. He grabs an old
glass slide and puts some of the flaky stuff on it. He slides
it under the microscope. He looks into the lens, but doesn't
He gets up quickly and heads for the
where he looks at Devi's door, nervously. He gathers his
courage and knocks on her door. Through the door hears.
Um, no, it's Max from next door.
Devi opens the door wearing a sexy nightshirt.
Max, is everything all
Do you have any iodine?
(concerned, she reaches for Max's hands)
Iodine...did you cut
(Pulling his hands away)
No. I just need it to stain a
Ah, science, the pursuit
of knowledge. One second.
She heads to her bathroom. Max waits impatiently.
Here we are. What are you
(At the door)
She hands Max a bottle of iodine.
Just something with my
MAX'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Max uses his pinky to drip a drop of iodine on the slide.
Through the wall he hears Farrouhk arriving home.
The neighbor's up
to his old science...
Max listens to the conversation for a few moments.
Why are you talking to that dork!
Shh! I just helped ...
Pounds on wall. Hey, dork, leave
my girlfriend alone!
Max shakes his bead. Then he finishes preparing the slide and
slips the glass under the turret.
Max catches the low-hanging sun in the microscope's mirror and
reflects it through the sample and up the turret
into his eye.
MAX'S POV DOWN THE TURRET of some strange
Max pulls out the slide and looks at it.
I don't give a shit.
Shh! C'mon, Farrouhk.
I'll kill the dork.
You hear me! I'll kill you.
I'll fucking kill you!
Then an idea comes to him. He takes out his brain book. He
looks through it until he finds a picture of neurons. He
compares the image to the view through the turret. They look
different but there are similarities.
Shh! Baby! Come here, baby!
Max rushes out.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - LATE AFTERNOON
Max sifts through the trash can where he threw his picks from
yesterday. Frustrated, he dumps the trash onto the sidewalk
and starts looking through it Mrs. Ovadia watches him.
Max sees her and is embarrassed for a moment.
I just threw out something.
I didn't realize I needed it.
Just a printout. I, uh,
lost my data...
Max looks back at the trash And forgets about Mrs. Ovadia.
Soon, Max gets up and kicks the trashcan. He heads home.
IN FRONT OF MAX'S APARTMENT BUILDING
Max watches Marcy get out of the limo and call to Mrs. Ovadia.
Max backs away when he smacks into someone.
It's Lenny Meyer - the young Jewish man.
Max jumps back in fear.
Max! How you doing? Lenny
Max tries to quickly pass him.
Hey, where you going? You
got a few moments to do Tefillin?
Max turns around and notices Marcy talking to Mrs. Ovadia.
Mrs. Ovadia points up the street
I gotta car, we can cruise
over to my...
You gotta car?
Yeah, right there. That's
Ephraim, my friend.
We swing around with Max and see a station wagon.
EPHRAIM sits in the passenger Seat. He's a big-boned, bearded,
All tight, lets go.
They head for the station wagon.
INT. BASEMENT SHUL - NIGHT
The synagogue is a claustrophobic, fluorescent-lit room in
general disarray. Two rows of imitation-wooden pews face a
makeshift altar and Ark. Young Hasidic Men study texts. Some
work alone, reading and dovening. Others are in small groups
sharing in heated discussions.
Lenny wraps the Tefillin around Max's arm. Max just wants to
get out of there. Ephraim prays in the background.
Lenny, I don't really
want to do...
Do it for me? It
means a lot, having someone
of your stature performing a
mitzvah in my presence.
When you told me your name was
Max Cohen, I didn't realize you
were the Max Cohen. Maximilian Cohen.
You know me?
0f course, I've
followed your research since
your Columbia days. It's
revolutionary. You've inspired
the work we do.
Yes, very much
so. The only difference is,
we're not looking at stocks.
We're searching for a pattern
Lenny finishes wrapping Max's arm. He reaches for another box
What kind of pattern?
We're not really
sure. Our calculations have
shown us that there is a
number encoded in the text.
What sort of number?
We don't know.
All we know is that it's two
hundred and sixteen digits long.
Max, stunned looks at Lenny.
Don't worry. This one just
goes over your head.
Lenny places the other Teffilin over Max's head. Max collects
Yes. Now we have to say a
small prayer, repeat
Bewildered, Max does. After the prayer...
That's it. Wasn't
so bad, was it? You feel
Lenny starts removing the Teffillin from Max.
What is it?
It's a prayer about our
dedication to our one and
No, I mean the number, the
two sixteen number? What is
Oh. We don't know. We just
know that it's the most
common number encoded in
the text. It might be some
type of linguistic pattern.
If we could figure out what
the number is we could maybe
Tell me more.
EXT. SOL'S APARTMENT - DAWN
Max firmly rings SOL's bell.
In a few moments, Sol answers the door in his pajamas.
What's going on, Sol!?
Relax, it's early.
INT. SOL'S KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Max sits at the kitchen table while Sol heats up a pot of tea.
Max is shaking.
Now, what's up?
What's the two hundred
and sixteen number, Sol?
You asked me if I had
seen a two hundred and
sixteen digit number, right?
Oh, you mean the bug. I
found it working on Pi.
What do you mean by "found it"?
What's this all about,
Well, there's these
religious Jews who have...
Well, you know,
Hassidim. I met one in the
coffee shop. The guy's a
number theorist. The Torah is
their data set. The thing is,
they're searching for a two
hundred and sixteen digit
number in the Torah.
Really? What's it mean to
They say they don't
know, but that's crazy. I
mean what are the odds...
It's just a coincidence.
But hold on, there's
something else. You remember
those strange picks I got.
Yesterday's stock picks?
Right. Well, it turns out
that they were correct. I hit
two picks on the nose. Smack
on the nose.
Something's going on, and
it has to do with that
number. The answer is there.
Max, it's a bug.
No. it's a pattern. A
pattern is in that number
Come with me.
INT. SOL'S STUDY - MOMENTS LATER
Sol and Max sit on either side of a half-played Go board.
Listen to me. The Ancient
Japanese considered the Go
board to be a microcosm of
the universe. Although when
it is empty it appears to be
simple and ordered, in fact,
the possibilities of game play
are endless. They say that no
two Go games have ever been
alike. Just like snowflakes.
So, the Go board actually
represents an extremely complex
and chaotic universe. That is
the truth of our world, Max.
It can't be easily summed up
with math. There is no simple
But as a Go game
progresses, the possibilities
become smaller and smaller.
The board does take on order.
Soon, all moves are
So, maybe, even though we're not
sophisticated enough to be aware
of it, there is an underlying
order...a pattern, beneath every
Go game. Maybe that pattern is
like the pattern in the market,
in the Torah. The two sixteen
That is insanity, Max.
Or maybe it's genius. I
have to get that number.
Hold on, you have to slow
down. You're losing it, you
have to take a breath. Listen
to yourself. You're connecting
a computer bug I had, a
computer bug you might have
had, and some religious
hogwash. If you want to find
the number two sixteen in the
world, you'll be able to pull
it out of anywhere. Two
hundred and sixteen steps
from your street comer to
your front door. Two hundred
and sixteen seconds you spend
riding on the elevator. When
your mind becomes obsessed
with anything, it will filter
everything else out and find
examples of that thing
everywhere. Three hundred and
twenty, four hundred and
Whatever! You've chosen two
sixteen and you'll find it
everywhere in nature. But
Max, as soon as you discard
scientific rigor, you are no
longer a mathematician. You
become a numerologist. What
you need to do is take a
break from your research. You
need it. You deserve it
Here's a hundred dollars, I
want you to take it. If ,you
won't take it, borrow it.
Either way, take a break.
Spend it however you like as
long as it falls in the
category of vacation. Real
world stuff, okay. No math.
Max looks at his bands.
Just try it. In a week
you'll laugh about this.
C'mon, Max. Think about it!
Max gives a half nod.
EXT. SOL'S APARTMENT - MORNING
Max rushes to the subway when a honking horn stops him. A limo
pulls up next to him. Marcy Dawson jumps out of the car
Mr. Cohen? Mr.
Cohen? Please stop for a
second Mr. Cohen?
Max stops and faces Marcy.
Damn it already! Stop
following me. I'm not
interested in your money. I'm
searching for a way to
understand our world. I'm
searching for perfection. I
don't deal with mediocre
materialistic people like
I'm sorry. I'm very sorry.
I admit I've been a bit too
aggressive. But all I ask is
for five minutes of your time.
Marcy hands Max a metal stopwatch.
Already ticking. Allow me the
four and a half minutes left
Let me tell you what I want.
Let me tell you what I can
offer you. Afterwards, if you
don't want to talk to me, then
fine, we part as friends and
I promise that you will never
see me again. That's fair,
(After a moment, he looks at the stopwatch)
Good. It's funny,
even though we have different
aims and different goals
we're actually incredibly
alike. We both seek the same
thing—perfection. I know...
clearly we're seeking
different types of
perfection, but that is what
makes us perfect candidates
for a fruitful partnership.
If you let me, I can be your
greatest ally. Take the
acacia tree...in East
Africa. It is the most
prevalent plant in all of
Kenya because it has managed
to secure its niche by
defeating its major predator,
the giraffe. To accomplish
this, the tree has made a contract
with a highly specialized red ant.
The tree has evolved giant spores which
act as housing for the ants
In return for shelter, the
ants supply defense. When a
giraffe starts to eat the
tree's leaves, the shaking
branch acts like an alarm. The
ants charge out and secrete an
acid onto the giraffe's
tongue. The giraffe learns its
lesson and never returns.
Without each other, the tree
would be picked dry and the
ants would have no shade from
the brutal African sun Both
would die. But with each
other, they succeed, they survive,
they surpass. They have
different aims, different
goals but they work together.
Max, we would like to establish
a mutually benefiting alliance
(handing back the stopwatch)
I'm not interested.
Allow me to dose.
The chauffeur pulls a black suitcase out of the limo and
brings it over.
As a sign of good faith we
wish to offer you this.
I told you I don't want money.
The suitcase isn't filled with
fifties or gold or diamonds. Just
silicon. A Ming Mecca chip.
Ming Mecca. They're not declassified.
Max starts to move away.
You're right. They're not. But
Lancet-Percy has many friends.
Come here, take a look.
But then, Max notices that his thumb is twitching.
Beautiful, isn't it? You know
how rare...are you okay?
Yeah, I got to go.
But what about...
Let me think about it...
Max trots off.
What? Mr. Cohen!?
INT. SUBWAY STATION - PUBLIC BENCH - NIGHT
The station is strangely silent. It is also extremely rundown.
The tracks are rusted and fucked up. All we hear is the sound
of DRIPPING WATER. The sound is warped and grows and morphs
until it's downright scary.
Max sits on a bench sucking down pills. His head begins to
hurt. He touches the right side of his scalp and nubs it.
As the blood surges through his head it brings him waves of
pain. He gags several times. Then the pain lets loose and all
Max wants to do is die. He smashes the side of his head with
Across the tracks on the far platform he sees someone.
For a moment Max's pain dissipates. His view is obscured by
the columns. Max gets up and sees the Young Hasidic Man - from
earlier - staring at him.
The Man stares at Max without any emotion. Max notices blood
dropping from the Man's right hand.
Max looks at the Man's face and sees for a split second his
own face staring back.
Max charges up a flight of stairs. He crosses a passage over
the tracks and flies down the stairs to the other side of the
The Man is gone. A pool of blood sits where the Man was. Max
touches it with his toe. It's sticky. He notices a trail of
blood leading off from the pool.
He follows it around a corner where it leads into a corner.
He notices something strange in the shadows. He carefully
advances on it. Hiding in the shadows is what looks like a
small piece of brain. It seems to be moving slightly.
Max uses a pen in his jacket to carefully touch it.
Suddenly, Max hears a train's HONK HONK behind him. Max spins
around. Nothing is there but silence.
He turns back to the gray matter. He touches it again. Once
again, he hears the deafening HONK HONK. Max spins around, but
nothing is there.
Frustrated, he pushes his pen deep into the brain - fiber
Suddenly, a TRAIN is barreling down on Max. Seconds from
impact, Max SCREAMS!!!
BLINDING WHITE VOID
We hear two deep, long sleep-filled breaths and then we CUT
INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - DAY
Max's eyes pop open. A TRANSIT COP is sticking him with a
Up, buddy Coney Island, last stop.
Max sits up. His nose is bleeding. The cop hands him a tissue.
Max wipes his nose and looks around nervously.
He sees the rides of Coney Island in the distance.
EXT. CONEY ISLAND BEACH - DAY
Max sits on a boulder on a Coney Island jetty. He watches the
Then Max sees an old man dressed like KING NEPTUNE scanning
the shore with a rusty metal detector. The old man picks up
something. He admires it for a moment before gently setting it
back on the ground. Then Neptune continues his search.
Max wanders over to the place where the old man exam
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
MAX'S POV through the microscope. Max sees the brain
Just then, there's a KNOCK on the door. The knock startles him
and his hand bumps the turret of the microscope. The lens
moves and he realizes that the magnification can be changed.
A KNOCK again.
Max looks out the peephole and sees nothing. Confused,
Looks down at his thumb. It's not shaking. He heads back to
There's a knock again. Max angrily unlocks the door and whips
IN THE HALLWAY is Jenna with her calculator.
Max, Max, can we do one.
Jenna. I can't now, Jenna.
I'm working now, later okay?
Max shuts the door and returns to the microscope. He changes
the magnification. At a weaker magnification, the
mathematician sees that the cells are grouped in spirals.
Max is stunned, He grabs the phone and pulls a business card
out of his pocket He quickly dials a number.
Someone answers with a "Shalom" on the other end of the line.
Max asks for Lenny Meyer and is put on hold.
Hello, this is Lenny?
Lenny, it's Max Cohen.
Max! How are you?
You want to come down?
I've been thinking about
our conversation earlier.
Max looks into the microscope. He stares at the spirals.
I want to help.
Do you have the Torah in
DISSOLVE FROM TURRET TO:
SATELLITE IMAGE OF SPINNING TORNADO
Start in tight on the epicenter and pull out to reveal the
fourth, sixteen forty-five.
The alchemist awakes. All of
my ideas, work and dreams are
spinning together It all has
to do with spirals. It began
with spirals and the answers
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT – DAY
Max uses a drill to rip out some old parts. He lays new wire
and does a bunch of soldering.
He rips down a bunch of old papers and does a general
He also goes to school on the ant population in his apartment.
He plants some ant motels and sprays the room with. a pest
The most I can
remember about their
significance is from
Schneider's class. That
bullshit core for majors.
Schneider's fascination with
mystical geometry made him a
bit of a quack...but...then again,
look at Kepler. He was really into
Pythagoras. The leader of an
ancient sect which believed
the entire universe could be
represented by numbers.
Pythagoras' greatest contribution
was the golden ratio, which ended up
influencing art and science
for thousands of years,
arguably all the way up to
TIGHT ON MAX writing a : b : : b : a + b.
He draws it over a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci's famous
drawing of man s anatomy.
The golden ratio,
if I recall, is this unique
relationship between the length
and width of a special
rectangle called the golden
TIGHT ON MAX carefully measuring out a golden rectangle.
The rectangle fits perfectly over Leonardo Da Vinci's Man.
If you take the
width of this rectangle and
use it to form a square within
the rectangle, the part left
over is a rectangle that has
the same ratio as the
original rectangle. au can
continue squaring the
rectangle, over and over
again, making the
rectangles smaller and smaller
TIGHT ON MAX squaring rectangle after rectangle. Then he draws
the golden spiral through the rectangles.
Then, if you
connect a curve through these
rectangles you get the golden
spiral. The Pythagoreans
loved this shape because
they found it everywhere
MONTAGE OF IMAGES
The images mirror what Max talks about. We see NAUTILUS
SHELLS, SUNFLOWERS, PLANTS, RAM HORNS, HUMAN FINGERPRINTS, THE
MILKY WAY, and DNA STRANDS.
It really is amazing. In the sea,
on land, in air, our basic building
block DNA and even our home.
EXT. CHINATOWN - DAY
Max wanders through the crowded streets of Chinatown.
If we're built from
spirals, while living within
a giant spiral, is it
possible that all of human
behavior, if it could be
quantified, is in the form of
a spiral. Then, maybe,
extensions of our behavior
like the stock market. maybe
even the writing of The
Torah, is infused with the
PAN ACROSS NEW EUCLID
We start on the stock ticker and pull out to reveal a leaner,
meaner and more exciting machine.
fifth. Seven twelve. It's
fair to say, I'm stepping out onto a
limb. But I'm on the edge and
that's where it happens.
He holds two wires apart from each other as he contemplates
what will connect them.
EXT. ELECTRONIC MEGADUMP - DAY
Max wanders helplessly through the dump. There's nothing but
junk and more junk.
EXT. PUBLIC PAY PHONE - DAY
Max eyes Marcy Dawson's business card, suspiciously He dials
the number. A man answers on the other line.
MAN'S VOICE (OS.)
Three, eight, two.
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Max is put on hold. He notices a man in a business suit
watching him. Max turns away.
Mr. Cohen? I'm so
Look what do you want for the chip?
You tech guys. I think you
know what we want.
No, I don't.
C'mon, Mr. Cohen. We can work
together We can both profit
from this information. We both
need each other to get it, so why
not work with us?
I don't know if I'll find
We're willing to take the risk.
Okay. First, I want you
to call off the surveillance.
Done. Anything else?
Yeah, I'm a very private
person. Knock on my door and
leave the suitcase outside.
I don't want to talk to Anyone.
How do I know you're home?
I'll knock back.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
Max sits at the counter. The POST headline in front of him
reads MARKET DOOMED. PRESIDENT IN PANIC, WORLD LEADERS MEET.
Max flips to the stock quotes. He can't believe how far things
have dovetailed. He shakes his head in disbelief when an
envelope appears in front of him. It belongs to Lenny Meyer.
What is it?
In Hebrew characters and numbers.
No, what is it? The two
hundred and sixteen digits.
I don't know.
If you get it, maybe
we can figure it out.
Can you really find it?
If the number's in there,
I'll find it.
EXT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DUSK
Max marches into his foyer when he's suddenly ambushed by
Devi's boyfriend, Farrouhk. Farrouhk is a little guy with a
big sadistic smile.
He grabs Max by the collar and slams him against the wall. His
fist butts up against Max's chin.
There you go, dork.
Been thinking about my
girlfriend. Haven't you?
You want to fuck her, don't you?
You calling my girlfriend
ugly!? Why don't you want
to fuck her? You think she's
No, no, I just. It's that
she's your girl...
So you do want to
fuck her. You think about
fucking her in the mouth,
No, no, sir, please. I've
never touched Devi...I
Give the fucking
genius a Mars bar. Stay away,
or I'll slice off your balls.
Farrouhk tosses Max against the wall. Max whimpers off to his
apartment. Farrouhk has enjoyed this and to end his game be
gives Max a small slap on the butt.
INSIDE HIS APARTMENT Max bolts the front door.
At his desk he rips open the envelope Lenny Meyer gave him. He
pulls out a BLACK DISK and eyes it expectantly.
Next door, he hears Farrouhk and Devi talking.
He's just a bit unique.
Unique?! Unique?! He's a dork!
Then, Max carefully slips the DISK into Euclid's drive. Hebrew
characters pop onto Euclid's screen. Max pounds in several
strings of code lightning fast.
The Hebrew letters suddenly switch to their numerical
counterparts. Max toggles between Hebrew and numbers a few
Max nods. Then there's a knock at the door.
Max peeks through the peephole. Two well-dressed large men,
BRAD and ABE THE BABE, wait for the signal. MAX knocks and the
Then Max shyly opens up his front door and quickly grabs the
black attaché case in front of his door
Donning a surgical mask and latex gloves, Max opens the black
attaché case. Sitting in foam is a tiny but beautiful chip.
Max studies it with awe.
fifth? Lots of work to be
done. But I'm close, so
close. Today is the day Might
have cost me my soul, but
down the line I'll work it
out. Just keep them in the
dark, let them beg. A damn
Ming Mecca chip. It's like
giving a desperate junkie a
syringe filled with junk.
Defense uses them to nun
nuclear sub reactors. Me? I'm
going to dissect the market.
Max carefully carries the chip over to the new leaner Euclid.
He welds it into Euclid's waiting wires.
Happy birthday, Euclid.
Then he lifts his hand to slap the RETURN button, but a sudden
wave of fear stops him.
He gets up and grabs a Ginseng soda from the fridge He drops
eight pills in the can. He calmly takes a sip from the soda
and places it on the counter.
Max can hear Devi and Farrouhk starting to make love. Their
drift through the wall.
Eighteen thirty. Press return...
Max darts over and smacks
the RETURN. Moments later we
see what Max sees
ON THE SCREEN is a long string of zeros.
At the bottom of the screen Euclid's cursor blinks, waiting
He smacks RETURN again Max gets the same empty result.
Euclid's cursor blinks, waiting. Max starts to laugh. He
laughs and laughs and laughs.
Oh God. Damn religious
The holy Torah...
But then he notices his thumb twitching. He rubs his scar.
His neighbor's love sounds start to get rough. They're having
Max almost throws up.
Max dry heaves in the sink. Then he forces himself to stand in
front of the mirror.
Too much...too soon.
He grabs the gun and tries to roll up his sleeve. He can't get
it to roll up. Suddenly he's overwhelmed by pain. He quickly
rips his shirt and fires the gun into his arm.
Nothing happens. He checks the barrel—its empty
He grabs a bottle of medicine but knocks them an into the
He cuts his finger as be grabs one of the broken bottles. He
loads the gun and fires the medicine into his arm. A wave of
pain and nausea floods in. He grabs another bottle and fires
it into his arm. Then he fires another and another.
Frustrated he collapses into the mirror.
Stop, please, stop.
Slightly sobbing he examines his scalp pulling his hair apart.
He sees something.
So he takes out a scissors and starts removing some hair.
Meanwhile his neighbors' lovemaking gets more intense. Their
screams carry into Max's head.
Max finishes removing a patch of hair from the right side
of his head. He has uncovered a light scar on his head. He
examines it in the mirror.
What is it!? What is it!?
Then his neighbors' lovemaking turns outright evil. It
sounds like Sodom and Gomorrah next door and Max
can barely stand it.
A jolt of pain surges into his head. He grabs his scar as he
vomits blood into the sink.
He starts banging his head against the mirror. He bangs
his head again and again until the mirror CRACKS!
His neighbors are cumming and their cries of joy are twisted
The mathematician looks at himself and begins to sob. He
reloads the gun and fires it right into the scar on his head,
where the pain is coming from.
Max collapses to the ground in complete agony until the bare
bulb in the bathroom starts blinking on and off.
Suddenly the pain is gone.
Then he hears something. It's Euclid, buzzing with life. He
gets to his feet and head's into Euclid.
The main monitor is screaming with numbers. The lights in the
room flicker on and off like on a disco dance floor. A
filo substance billows out of Euclid.
And then a number pops onto the screen. Max estimates how many
digits are on the screen.
Two...two hundred. That's it! That's it!
Max grabs a piece of paper and a pencil. He starts writing
down the number. He mumbles each digit as he sees it.
But then be stops writing. Power surge! He stares at the
number. Something clicks in his head. His eyes go wide. He
barely musters a—
We move closer and closer into the number, deeper and deeper
into the screen. Until finally a single pixel fills the screen
and we're in the
BLINDING WHITE VOID where we hear several deep peaceful
Then, a fuse blows and we cut to:
A phone ringing...once...
twice...then we hear
He's alive. His eyes are moving.
FADE BACK INTO THE MAIN ROOM Max's eyes slowly open.
(On the phone)
He's busy right now I'm sorry.
Max is sprawled out in front
of Euclid. A large amount of
blood, from his nose, is
semi-dried on his chin and
chest. Devi hangs up the phone.
The landlady, Mrs. Ovadia, and Farrouhk, brandishing a
crowbar, stand over him.
You were screaming...
Who told you you can put extra
locks on the door.
(To Mrs. OVADIA)
(Suddenly jolting up and remembering)
The number, the number.
Max looks at Euclid. The screen is blank. He looks at the
mainframe. It is covered with the filo substance. Then be
looks at the piece of paper he wrote the number on. Only a few
dozen numbers are on the page. The last number be wrote is
barely a scribble.
You're out, you hear me, you're out.
I've had enough of you. Look at all
He starts reciting the numbers. Then Max suddenly realizes
something. He continues reciting the numbers from memory.
seven...It's in my head,
it's in my head. Somehow I
memorized it. I got it up
He points to his head.
But what is it?
Mrs. Ovadia starts looking at all the junk in the room.
Are you okay?
What is this stuff? What does it do?
Max finally realizes that all these strangers are in his womb.
0ut, out, you have to get
out. Get out, get out it's my
The phone starts ringing again.
That's it, no way. You're
the one out of here, mister.
The three neighbors retreat to the front door.
Are you okay?
Out! Get out!
Max slams the door in their faces.
Max rubs his chin and looks around the room. He starts
saying the number to himself He gets more and more
excited as he reads each digit.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - NIGHT
Max stirs cream into his coffee. Then he pulls out the
A phone continues to RING.
In the clouds of the Lancet-Percy ad - in The Journal Max
writes down the two hundred and sixteen digit number. He
studies it, examines it, draws on it, tries to figure out what
Saturday? Dark outside. There
was a moment there...when, I don't
know...when I didn't exist. What? What?
We hear a phone being picked up. The ringing stops. Silence,
MARCY DAWSON (O.S.)
Max, is that you? Max?
Max, just talk to me. Things
are a bit out of hand down
here. People are getting
We had a deal, Max. A deal.
Talk to us, Max.
We hear the sound of a phone hanging up.
At the coffee counter, Max pops a handful of pills and
crumples the paper.
INT. MAX'S BATHROOM - LATER
Max stares at his BALD head in the mirror. All of his hair has
been removed. A fleshy scar sits on his scalp above his right
Max ignores the incessantly RINGING phone.
Max flips through an old neuroscience book. He examines a few
illustrations and finds the part of his brain that's killing
Must be an explanation, must be a
With a thick black marker, he carefully outlines the part of
his head that is causing the pain.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT-LATER
Max sits in his chair staring at the stock market monitor. The
phone continues to RING.
Numbers drift by.
A single beam of sunlight leaks through the window and shines
on the edge of the screen. Walking along the edge in the
sunlight is a tiny ant.
Max gets up to squash it. But as he gets closer he suddenly
feels mercy. He looks at the ant in awe.
And then, his attention switches to the ticker.
Two and a quarter, twelve
and an eighth, six and two
Max states the numbers right before they enter onto the
I know these...Seven
and a quarter. Two and a half
Max strains to figure out what is going an. Suddenly, he's
overwhelmed with fear.
My God. It's gonna
crash, it's gonna fucking
INT. SOL'S APARTMENT - DUSK
Max charges into the room. Sot is looking at his Go board. Sol
looks up when Max comes in.
You're early. I was just
(Noticing ,Max's head)
What did you do to yourself?
You lied to me.
I thought you were going
to take a break.
You found the two sixteen
number in Pi, didn't you? You
Sol doesn't respond.
I saw it, Sol. I don't
know what happened, but I
know things. The market is
going to crash. It's going to
crash. It hasn't yet, but I
know it will. I saw it, Sol.
What is it, Sol? What's the
Sol sighs. He looks down at the board and collects himself.
You have it?
It's in my head!
(Leveling with Max)
Okay, sit down.
I gave up before I
pinpointed it. But my guess
is that certain problems
cause computers to get stuck
in a particular loop. The loop
leads to meltdown, but
right before they crash they...
they become "aware" of
their own structure. The
computer has a sense of its
own silicon nature and it
prints out its ingredients.
The computer becomes conscious?
In some ways...I guess...
Studying the pattern made Euclid
conscious of itself. Before it died it
spit out the number That consciousness
is the number.
No, Max, it's only a
A door in front of a cliff.
You're driving yourself over
the edge. You need to stop.
Stop? How can I stop? I'm
The bug doesn't only
What are you saying?
Look what it did to your
computer. Look what it's doing
Max doesn't respond.
It's killing you. Leave it
You were afraid of
it. That's why you quit.
Max, I got burnt.
It caused my stroke.
That's bullshit. It's
math, numbers, ideas.
Mathematicians are suppose to
be out on the edge. You
taught me that!
Max, there's more than
math! There's a whole world...
That's where discoveries
happen. We have to go out
there alone, all alone, no
one can accompany us. We have
to search the edge. We have
to risk it all. But you ran
from it. You're a coward.
Max, it's death!
Max stands up and screams down at Sol.
You can't tell me what it
is. You don't know You've
retreated to your goldfish,
to your books, to your Go,
but you're not satisfied.
Sol grabs his cane and whacks the Go board.
Get out! Max, get out!
I want to understand it.
I want to know!
Sol swings his cane as Max heads for the door.
INT. SUBWAY - PORT AUTHORITY - NIGHT
Max paces on a downtown train as it pulls into 42nd Street.
Through the open doors, Max notices a YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER in
jeans and a leather jacket photographing him from the uptown
Max is enraged and screams at him. The man ducks behind a
column, but a few moments later he's back snapping pictures.
The doors start to shut, but Max uses his body to get
off the train.
The Photographer sees him coming and flees.
Max follows the man's movement on his platform. When the young
man shoots up the exit stairs, Max does so as well.
Max catches a glimpse of his foe entering the catacombs
heading toward Times Square. Max pursues.
Max chases him down a looooong passage.
But he loses him at an underground five-way fork in the road.
One staircase is Uptown and Queens...
another is Brooklyn...one other is unlabeled.
Still enraged, Max marches forward Just then, he catches a
glimpse of the Photographer exiting the station.
EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NEON NIGHT
In the heart of New York, Max spins around searching for his
His frustration mounts until out of the comer of his eye he
sees a strange reflection. Not knowing what it's of, he turns
around to see the source The reflection is from a giant,
brilliant stock ticker - 50 yards long and luminous.
Max stares at the quotes They are hypnotizing and Max is
Then, Max has a premonition. He turns and spots the
Photographer in front of a porn shop on Eighth and 42nd.
EXT. PORN SHOP - 42ND STREET - NIGHT
Max whacks the Photographer against a back-lit image of a
Hustler Centerfold. The man screams.
Who are you working for?
The photographer hands Max his wallet.
I don't want your wallet. Who sent you?
Max grabs the kid's camera.
Who the hell sent you!?
Who are you?!
I'm...a...student I've got
an assignment for class.
The Photographer pulls out his student ID. Max looks at it.
Then he rips out the film-exposing it.
Leave me alone, damn it.
Leave me alone.
Max hands the man back his camera and leaves.
EXT. MAX'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Max heads home in a furious state. Suddenly, he sees two of
Marcy's men blocking his path. It's Brad and Jake, yet another
tough guy, and they don't look happy. Max spins around and
sees Marcy Dawson blocking his exit.
Marcy? What's up?
Let's take a ride, Max.
I can't, I got work...
Max looks back at the tough guys who are almost on top of him.
We had a deal! NOW get in the limo!
Marcy releases a vicious slap that nearly knocks Max down. Max
Don't ever hit...
He pushes Marcy aside and darts.
EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT
Max flees. Jake and Brad charge after him. They're right on
him - he has a meter or so on them.
He scurries through a construction site and over a footbridge.
Then, he runs into an all-night
The tough guys chase after him and he gets a bit of a
lead in the narrow aisles. He pleads with the owners for
help - nothing doing.
Jake heads him off and uses his body to block the aisle. But
Max grabs a can of beans and slams it down on the tough guy's
nose. The guy goes down and Max shoots out the exit.
EXT. UNDERNEATH CAR - NIGHT
Max dives under a car and crawls for terror. He sees two sets
of feet nun by. Max starts to relax when he notices a pair of
heels on the other side of the car. Marcy bends down and looks
Enough, Max, c'mon out.
Leave me alone. I don't
Max retreats in the opposite direction. Suddenly Jake and Brad
grab him and drag him out.
Hey! Hey! Hey!
They search him, taking his wallet, keys, everything.
Marcy looks at the guys, who shake their heads. She walks over
to Max and shows Max the front page of the Wall Street
Journal. It reads, "MARKET CRACHES"
You're responsible for this.
I didn't do anything. I
didn't play the market.
But we did.
Marcy pulls out a folded, worn piece of paper. She opens it.
It's Max's stock pick that he threw out. Part of THE number is
on the page
You have to be careful
where you throw out your trash.
How could you do that?
You gave us faulty information.
You gave us the carrot, the right
picks, but then you only gave us
part of the code.
You selfish, irresponsible
cretins. How could you be so
Marcy jabs Max in his stomach. Max falls to the ground. The
tough guys sit on him.
C'mon, Max. This isn't a
game anymore. We're playing
on a global scale. We used
your code. Foolish...I admit.
But we can fix things if we
make some careful picks. Give
us the rest of the code so
we can set things right.
C'mon! I know who you are.
You're not gonna save the world.
Marcy nods to Jake, who pulls out a gun and points it at Max's
My God, what are you doing?
the private language
of Capital. We tried to
establish a symbiotic
relationship but if
you choose to compete and
enter our niche we are forced
to comply with the laws of
Max thinks for a second. Max thinks hard. He realizes be
can't give them the number.
You can't kill me!
C'mon, Max. You
don't get it. I don't
give a shit about you. I only
care about what's in your
fucking head. If you won't help
us help yourself, then I'll
have only one choice. Destroy the
competition. I'll take you
out of the game. Survival of the
fittest, Max. And we've got
Jake cocks the gun. Max starts to cry.
You bastards! You stupid
Suddenly, Jake is whacked with a sawed-off baseball bat.
He smashes into the sidewalk.
It is Farrouhk, Max's neighbor, who's just pulled up in his
(Spotting his savior)
Farroukh threatens Marcy and the other tough guy, who
retreat in fear. Farroubk is afraid as well, so he doesn't
quite leap on them. He just keeps swinging the bat.
He's sick! He's sick!
Max gets to his feet and runs behind Farrouhk.
Just then a station wagon screeches up to the curb. Lenny
Meyer, Ephraim, and a bunch of other his burly Jews jump out.
Max looks at Farrouhk and then he looks at Lenny. Ephraim
grabs Max and pulls him toward the station wagon.
Farrouhk heads for his cab. Ephraim helps Max into the
backseat of the wagon and climbs in after him.
Lenny Meyer jumps into the passenger seat and the gray-bearded
YISRAEL slams on the gas Pedal.
Farrouhk jumps into his cab.
INT. LENNY MEYER'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT
Yisrael yanks the steering wheel to the left, the old station
wagon skids around a corner.
Farrouhk what about Farrouhk!?
Ephraim pushes Max's head down. Yisrael takes another
He's okay, he got
in his cab. We've been
looking for you.
What's going on?
Do you have the number?
What's going on?
Do you have the number?
Yeah, I have it!
You have it. Where is it?
You have it written down?
What is it?
Lenny nods to Ephraim, who starts scanning through
Max's pockets. Max resists. The other guys hold him down.
What are you doing!? What
the hell are you doing!?
We're not joking
around, Max? Where's
(Pushing Ephraim away)
It's not on me. It's in my
You memorized it?
Did you give it to them?
Wall Street bastards.
Why do you care?
Just answer me!
Yisrael screeches the car to a halt. He spins around in his
seat and looks Max in the face.
You're dealing with something
really big now, Max. I don't
want to hurt you, so answer
me. Did you give it to them?
They've got part of it
Now get off me!
Damn it! Damn it!
They're using it.
Max chews into Ephraim's hand which is pinning him. Ephraim
screams and lets loose a punch to Max's jaw.
But Lenny is late, and Max's world - as well as ours goes
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Max stares suspiciously at the bathroom. He slowly picks up
his drill. Wielding it like a hammer, he carefully advances
BATHROOM where he looks into the sink. He almost vomits when
he sees a piece of human brain sitting above the drain. Ants
swarm across its surface.
Max becomes furious. He whacks it with the drill. Blood flies
up into his face. In a wild rage, he smashes it and punches
Then he drops the drill and uses his bare hands to shove it
down the drain. Screaming like a madman, he jams it until it
INT. BASEMENT SHUL - DAY
A wise-looking, bearded Hasidic man with benevolent, piercing
eyes stands tenderly over Max. He wears traditional black
clothes. Lenny Meyer paces nervously in the background.
As Max comes through, RAV COHEN speaks.
Max, Max. You're
okay I'm Rabbi Cohen. Cohen
like you. I'm sorry for what
Lenny did, he's been
reprimanded. It is not our way
Are you okay?
Everything will be
fine, Max. You need to give
us the number. Do you have
What is it?
I told you we don't know
You wouldn't be so
flipped out if you didn't
know. What's happening to me?
Give us the number!
Okay, okay! Lenny,
easy! Max, I'll tell you
what's going on. Just calm
(Deep breath, then)
The Talmud tells us it began two
thousand years ago, when the
Romans destroyed the second
What are you...
Just give me a chance.
You'll understand everything
if you listen.
Max takes out his pills and starts feeding himself some.
The Romans also
murdered all of our priest-
hood—the Cohanim—the Cohens,
and with their deaths they
destroyed our greatest
secret. In the center of the
great temple was the holy of
holies which was the heart of
Jewish life. This was the
earthly residence for our
God. The one God. It
contained the ark of the
Tabernacle which stored the
original Ten Commandments
that God gave to Moses. Only
one man could enter this
space once a year on the
holiest day of the year, Yom
Kippur On the Day of
Atonement, all of Israel
would descend upon Jerusalem
to witness the High Cohen's
trip into the holy of holies.
If the holy man was pure he
would reemerge a few moments
later and Israel was secured
a prosperous year. It meant
that we were one yea r closer
to the messianic age. Closer
to the return of the Garden
of Eden. But if he was
impure, he would die
instantly and it meant that
we were doomed. The High
Cohen had a single ritual to
perform in the holy of holies.
He had to intone a single
Rav Cohen takes a dramatic pause. Max is anxious to hear the
end of the story.
That word was the true name of God.
The true name, which only
the Cohanim knew, was two
hundred and sixteen letters
A long beat.
You're telling me that the number in
my head is the name of God!?
Wondrously, Max rubs the scar on his head.
Yes...it's The key into
the messianic age. As the
Romans burned the temple, the
Talmud says, the High Cohen
walked into the flames. He
took his secret to the top of
the burning building. The
heavens opened up and took
the key from the priest's
outstretched hand. We've been
searching for the key ever
since. And you may have found
it. Now let us find out.
That's what happened. I
No, no, Max.
You're not pure. You can't
see God unless you're pure.
It's more than God...
it s everything. It's math
and science and nature...
the universe. I saw the
You saw nothing.
I saw everything.
There's much more.
We can unlock the door with
the key. It will show God
that we are pure again. He
will return us to The Garden.
Garden? You're not pure.
I'm the one who has the
Who do you think
you are? You are a vessel
from our God. You are
carrying a delivery that
needs to be made to us.
It was given to me. It's
part of me. It's changing me.
It's killing you.
Because you are impure.
It will kill you!
And what will it do to
We're pure. Give
us the number!
The number is nothing.
You know that!
We can use it. We
can wield it.
It's just a number. I'm
sure you've written down
every two hundred sixteen number.
You've translated all of
them. You've intoned them
all. Haven't you? But what's
it gotten you? It's not the
number! It's the meaning.
It's the syntax. It's what's
between the numbers. If you
could understand you would.
But it's not for you! I've
got it. I understand it. I'm
going to see it!
(Whispers to Rav Cohen)
Rabbi...I was chosen.
EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY
Max races through the streets of New York. He is wide-eyed.
Suddenly, it's all there.
It all makes sense. I
can crack it. I can know it.
I know what it is. Sol knows,
too. I need to tell him. I
need to show him. I need to
bring him with me.
People fly by. Max in a spiraling whirlwind.
EXT. SOL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
A pumped and excited Max paces the hall as he rings the bell.
The door opens. But it isn't Sol. It's a young, beautiful
woman wearing a simple black dress. Her name is JENNY ROBESON
and she is Sol's niece.
Can I help you?
Were you a friend?
What do you mean?
He had a second stroke.
Where is he?
Jenny's eyes drop.
Max rushes into Sol s study. The room is covered with Sol's P,
research books. It seems Sol had recently come out of
retirement. Max looks at a few of Sol's books. Then he finds a
piece of paper with Sol's handwriting on it. On the paper is
THE number. Max slides it into his pocket.
Max looks at the Go board. The pieces are arranged in a giant
spiral across the board.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - DAY
Max sits on his bed staring at Sol's handwritten number.
Then he notices that his thumb is twitching. He drops Sol's
Stop it, please!
He dumps the contents of the bottle of pills into his hand.
Max stops as he prepares to shove the pills down his throat.
He looks at the pills. Then he looks at Euclid around him. He
throws the pills and the bottle to the floor. They fall to
earth in SLOW MOTION.
The room rushes in on Max and so does the pain. It throws him
to the ground and he bashes his head against the floor.
No. No. I'm ready. I'm
ready! Show me!
Max recites THE number and uses it to get to his feet. The
pain rips apart his voice.
Max's pain and anger transform into violence. He attacks
Euclid furiously. He recites the number with rage in his
Three, seven, two...
He smashes the old computer apart. He tosses his step stool
through the mainframe.
Then he goes to the window and tries to rip off the cardboard
covering the glass panes. Nothing doing, so he yanks the
entire window wide open.
Sunlight floods the room and throws Max into the
BLINDING WHITE VOID
where Max looks around starry-eyed. The pain is gone.
Everything is new to Max - even his hands. The stress leases
from his brow and his shoulders sag.
Max continues to recite the number His voice becomes tender
and peaceful. As he starts to become part of the void, his
voice turns into a whisper and his eyes start to close.
Then he hears Devi.
Max. Max! Are you
okay!? Oh my God, Max!
Her voice reaches into the void.
Max! Breathe, Max. Breathe!
Max looks toward her voice.
Yes, Max. Listen to me...
We cut back to
...THE MAIN ROOM
where Devi leans over Max. Max's eyes are open while he
continues to recite the number.
Breathe, Max! Breathe.
Max turns away from Devi and we return to the
BLINDING WHITE VOID
where Max continues to recite the number.
No, Max. No.
Stay with me Max. Stay with
And then we cut back to
THE MAIN ROOM
where Devi grabs Max's palm. Max's fingers wrap around her
hand. We return to
THE BLINDING WHITE VOID
where Max stops reciting the number. He suddenly opens his
fear filled eyes.
Where am I? What is
this? This is wrong, Sol.
Max lets out a 'SOL!, and reaches out into the void. We match
cut back to
THE MAIN ROOM
where Max grabs Devi and hugs her. He gasps for air as
he collapses into her arms, sobbing.
Sol! You were right Sol!
He was right.
That's right Max. That's
Right. Breathe. Breathe.
He was right. I want to
Yes, breathe, Max.
Max sobs. He holds onto her for dear life
And then be realizes that Devi is not in his arms. He is
holding onto himself.
Then Max notices Sol's note on the ground. He looks at the
number. He collects himself and catches his breath.
INT. MAX'S BATHROOM – DAY
Max looks at Sol's note. He lights a match and burns it.
Next, he prepares something in the sink.
We hear the WHINE of a motor. Then it stops, Max looks at
himself in the mirror, He smiles. Then he gets solemn.
He takes a deep breath. Then we hear the motor again. Max
lifts up his arm. He's holding a drill. He places the bit
against the math section of his scalp.
He applies pressure and drills into his brain.
Max collapses as we quickly
EXT. CITY PLAYGROUND - DAY
a tree branch gently blowing in the wind.
Max watches it with peaceful, understanding eyes. He wears a
hat on his head.
He listens to the wind in the trees.
Just then, Jenna surprises him with her Fisher Price
calculator on hand.
Max smiles at Jenna. He's glad to see her.
Can we do one, Max, can
Max shrugs, not able to say no.
How about two hundred
and fifty-five times a
hundred and eighty-three.
Jenna types m the number.
Max is about to say "no" to Jenna, but then be decides to give
it a shot.
Max thinks, he really thinks.
Jenna presses the EQUALS button.
I got it! I got it!
What's the answer?
(Smiling and then laughing)
I don't know. I really don't
know. What is it, Jenna?
Forty-six thousand six
hundred and sixty-five.
The trees blow gently in the wind as we slowly
FADE TO WHITE which brings us to