Fermat's Room

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Review byMatthew Turner28/05/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Watchable, well acted and decently paced thriller, though it's not as exciting or as clever as it thinks it is and is essentially sub-par Agatha Christie mixed with Cube.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena, Fermat's Room stars Santi Millan, Lluis Homar, Alejo Sauras and Elena Ballesteros as four seemingly unconnected mathematicians who are lured to a mysterious room in a remote location, where they expect to be challenged to solve the world's greatest enigma. However, when their host, Fermat (Federico Luppi) disappears shortly after greeting them, they receive a logic puzzle by text message and are shocked to discover that the room is locked and that the walls will start closing in if they fail to solve the puzzle in the allotted time of sixty seconds.

As the puzzles pile up and the walls get ever closer, the four strangers realise that they'll have to work together if they want to get out of Fermat's Room alive. But are they prepared to trust each other with their secrets?

The Good
The performances are excellent, particularly Alejo Sauras as cocky smartarse Galois, who's not above the odd tantrum when things don't go his way. There's also surprising chemistry between the actors, which ensures that the room crackles with unspoken tension in the first half of the film.

The Bad
Unfortunately, Fermat's Room is largely derivative, coming across as a mash-up of a sub-par Agatha Christie movie and cult British sci-fi flick Cube. It's also strongly reminiscent of Saw, only without the blood and guts.

The film's biggest problem is that you don't care enough about any of the characters, so the inevitable revelations lack dramatic impact. In addition, the logic puzzles aren't clever or fiendish enough and some of them will be overly familiar from other movies (to be fair, one of the characters solves one by saying he saw it in a film).

Worth seeing?
Fermat’s Room is never less than watchable, but, much like recent Spanish thriller Time Crimes, it doesn't quite deliver on its intriguing, albeit derivative premise.

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Content updated: 21/06/2019 05:15

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