Fermat's Room (2007)


Pros
  • A fresh premise, four mathematicians trapped together must solve enigmas in order to escape a room that is slowly shrinking
  • (Having a math degree) I enjoyed the math that was in the movie
  • Some of the questions they asked are pretty interesting and are quite easily solvable (if only we had more time to think about the question)
  • "5-4-2-9-8-6-7-3-1" - Solve this enigma for a formal invitation (The first question asked in the movie)
  • I would totally be okay with some type of American remake (as bad as that sounds, just so I could follow the dialogue better)

Cons
  • They only get one minute to solve each problem, which is way too short of a period for the audience to think or even focus on the problem
  • The premise is interesting, but the execution is as straight forward as it gets (plays out just like every other movie where characters are trapped together)
  • The subtitles were way too difficult to follow, they were put on screen and off screen too fast
  • Some of the characters backstories didn't make sense (maybe they were lost in translation within the subtitles?)
  • The camera should have focused more on keeping the chalkboard in the frame so the audience could 'potentially' try to solve the problems and use it as a visual aid
  • One of the enigmas asked forced a character to piece together a puzzle (of sorts), which was no way possible to solve within a one minute time frame
  • Basically, the movie should have given the characters (and the audience of sorts) more time to solve certain problems (up the time limit to more than one minute)
  • At one point, they lose the phone, the one item in the room that gives them a chance at surviving, who in their right mind would just set it down and forget about it?
  • The ending doesn't make much sense if you think about it (obviously won't go into detail to avoid spoilers)

Score: 5/10

Unfortunately, Fermat's Room adds nothing new to the idea of trapping a group of people in a single room and having them slowly piece together how they know one another. The general premise sounds interesting (at least to me) a shrinking room and four mathematicians must solve their way out. But the problem begins right there, they are only given one minute per question, which makes it nearly impossible for the audience to keep up. Not to mention when they begin to work out the problems on the chalkboard, the camera hardly ever puts it in frame, which would have been great for the audience to kind of solve the problem along with the characters. But instead the movie shifts focus away from the riddles/enigmas and focuses on them trying to figure out who has put them there and why. This is where Fermat's Room becomes derivative and generic, this is very familiar territory for this type of movie and it is spun in an unengaging way. I personally would have enjoyed focuses more on the enigmas and trying to include the audience more (possibly by giving the characters more time to solve them). And the unfortunate aspect of the movie is the Spanish subtitles, they were very fast moving which didn't help things. Like when the characters are dissecting the enigmas, the lines of dialogue moved too quickly to follow along with how they were solving the problem. But when all is said and done, Fermat's Room is an interesting, little thriller that has just enough distinction from other films in the genre to make it worth mentioning.  


Fermat's Room (2007) on IMDb

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