|Directed by||Luis Piedrahita
|Produced by||César Benítez
José María Irisarri
|Written by||Luis Piedrahita
|Music by||Federico Jusid|
|Cinematography||Miguel Ángel Amoedo|
|Editing by||Jorge Macaya|
|Distributed by||Brunbro Entertainment Group (Belgium)
A Plus Films (Turkey)
IFC Films (USA)
Revolver Entertainment (UK)
Shochiku Company (Japan)
Filmfreak Distributie (Netherlands)
|Release dates||October 7, 2007|
Fermat's Room (Spanish: La habitación de Fermat) is a 2007 Spanish thriller film directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña. Three mathematicians and one inventor are invited to a house under the premise of solving a great enigma, and told to use pseudonyms based on famous historical mathematicians. At the house, they are trapped in a room. They must solve puzzles given by the host, who calls himself "Fermat", in order to escape the slowly closing walls of the room.
One of the film characters whose name isn't revealed through the film (known as Galois) is waiting for the day of his demonstration of Goldbach's conjecture. While he was explaining it to some friends he is called to go to his room. When he arrives he finds a mess. A mysterious character has sabotaged his demonstration.
Four months later, another mathematician (known as Hilbert) tells his friend, a physician, that he tried to commit suicide. Also, he reveals him that he has received a letter in which he is invited to a reunion in which the best mathematicians of the country will attend, for solving an enigma. For it, Hilbert must find in what order the numbers in the letter are: 5-4-2-9-8-6-7-3-1.
Ten days later, another mathematician (known as Pascal) goes to a library for solving the puzzle (the same Hilbert received). After many hours of trying to solving it, he gives up and tore up the letter. The librarian permits him to stay later, on the condition that the books he uses must be returned in alphabetical order. "Alphabetical" results to be the clue for solving the puzzle; the numbers were in alphabetical order (in Spanish).
Upon completion of the puzzle, a second letter is received with instructions to show up at a given time and place, alone, without a cell phone, to work on the greatest enigma. All the recipients receive pseudonyms, Galois, Hilbert, and Pascal. We are then introduced to a fourth character, known as Oliva. When they are all at the meeting place, at a river, a car on the other side flashes its lights, and they use a row boat named Pythagoras to reach it.
Upon reaching the car, they find a PDA with GPS inside with the directions that they must follow to an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Upon entering and searching, they find a room resembling what Hilbert describes as a room that intellectuals would meet in.
After a short waiting period, a man enters and introduces himself as Fermat. They begin to talk and discuss things, but after dinner Fermat eventually receives a phone call about his daughter, whom he claims is in a coma at a nearby hospital. Fermat leaves, but forgets his coat. Pascal chases after him, but Fermat has already driven off. Fermat's wallet drops out of a pocket in the confusion. Pascal picks up the open wallet, and notices a picture of a girl. He returns to the room.
Upon Pascal's return, the PDA emits a sound and displays the first enigma, along with a deadline of one minute for its solution. Hilbert, Oliva, and Galois work on the problem, exceeding the one-minute deadline but eventually Pascal reveals it to be a clichéd problem and solves it. Meanwhile, Pascal had noticed that the room had begun to shrink when the deadline was reached. He finds an inventory sales order for 4 industrial strength presses. The group then realizes that the presses are set to compress the room when time on the enigmas is exceeded.
As the occupants of the room continue to work on more and more enigmas, details about their pasts begin to emerge. Meanwhile, Fermat is shown at a gas station, and then at a hospital. He is shown upset when it turns out that the hospital didn't call him. The nurses suggest that he go home, but he realizes he left his house keys in his jacket, and must return to the warehouse.
The group then tries to use the furniture in the room to stop the moving walls, but the furniture shatters. When they discover an invitational letter addressed to "Fermat" with unique instructions, one of them makes the suggestion that Fermat was not their host after all, but merely another pawn of the true host. One of the group theorizes that since all this was a revenge plot, the person wanting revenge would want to see it happen. As there were no visible cameras or viewpoints, the person trying to kill them has to be in the room.
After a long period, the group finds out that Hilbert has planned everything, and that he planned to kill Fermat. All this because he wanted to get revenge on Galois, whom he claims to have ruined this lifework. So then he planned to bring the people to the warehouse and put the presses that would compress the room. He then admits that he will kill Fermat using a poisonous gas that would be released in his car. Galois after that, confesses that he didn't solve the Goldbach's conjecture, and that he did that to return with Oliva. Hilbert states he'd been driven even harder by Galois, and that he'd actually solved the conjecture, and hands a folder with his work to Galois. Galois comments that the mathematics contained within is "brilliant". They try to call Fermat from Hilbert's cell phone, but Hilbert placed a chemical to kill Fermat, who dies en route back to the gathering. Hilbert says they should continue working on his enigmas, but Galois becomes angry, and attacks him, knocking Hilbert unconscious. Pascal then realizes that all of the pseudonym characters died at the ages of the people they are named after, except for Hilbert. A furious search for Hilbert's escape route begins, and they find it behind the chalkboard. Pascal, Oliva, and Galois escape with the folder containing Hilbert's solution to Goldbach's conjecture, leaving behind an unconscious Hilbert. They make their way back to their cars. While crossing the river, Galois comments that he doesn't want to release Hilbert's solution under Hilbert's name, because then he would have won, but releasing it under his own name would be unethical but solve his problems. Pascal throws the solution into the river, remarking that the world is still the same without the proof.
- Alejo Sauras: "Galois" (a reference to Évariste Galois)
- Elena Ballesteros: "Oliva" (a reference to Oliva Sabuco)
- Lluís Homar: "Hilbert" (a reference to David Hilbert)
- Santi Millán: "Pascal" (a reference to Blaise Pascal)
- Federico Luppi: "Fermat" (a reference to Pierre de Fermat)
Fermat's Room was originally released in Spain on November 16, 2007. It grossed approximately 284,000 USD in its opening weekend there. The movie was released in the United States in international film festivals in early 2009, before going directly to DVD. Blockbuster Inc. acquired a temporary exclusive license for its rental release in the United States.