Film DVD cover - The Number 23

“The psychological thriller “The Number 23” stars Jim Carrey as a man whose life unravels after he comes into contact with an obscure book titled The Number 23. As he reads the book, he becomes increasingly convinced that it is based on his own life. His obsession with the number 23 starts to consume him, and he begins to realize the book forecasts far graver consequences for his life than he could have ever imagined.”





OK, so I was a little unnerved when I saw the trailer for this film. It’s about a madman (well, a man who eventually finds out he is mad….and…er….a murderer) who gets totally obsessed by a number (23, obviously!). Given the title of my blog site one could easily see a close resemblance between myself and the character played by Jim Carey; tattoos, messy hair…mumbling frequently about a number pre-occupation. So I saw the film last weekend and here is my conclusion:


The number 23 (as opposed to the film entitled The Number 23) is clearly not all that important. Granted there were a few meaningful ‘23s’ in evidence but I found the majority of references more than a little tenuous and insignificant.  So 23 is not nearly as significant as 27….c’mon its obvious. Not convinced? Here’s why…..


  1. When Carey’s character (Walter Sparrow) goes to rent a room in a seedy hotel the room number that the hotelier first gives him is not 23 but…hey, you guessed it….27!
  2. When Sparrow’s wife Agatha (played by actress Virginia Madsen) attempts to convince him that his rapidly escalating numeric obsession is hokum she utters the line (or something close to it): “The number 23 is no more significant than 150…or 27”.

So, evidence indeed that Carey’s character (whilst clearly mad) is gripped by a number that has no real meaning, the film itself clearly demonstrates that I am obsessed (albeit mildly I’d argue) with a number that is, indeed, frequently and inexplicably used to indicate randomness and that I am, in fact, not mad at all………ha ha ha ha (evil laugh noises)!!!!




P.s. Some recent ’27 sightings’ not connected to silly (but well executed) filmic frivolity:


[1] Whilst on a brief sojourn to Oman I wore my ‘The Evil Number 27’ T-shirt and was asked to explain what it meant to a few of my fellow serious gamers and virtual…’worlder’ colleagues. I explained the rationale behind my thinking which was of course greeted by a mix of laughter (at me) and ‘you are a fruitloop’ style facial explanations. Literally a few minutes later the tour guide announces that the Sultanate has 27 ministers which I thought clearly proved my point. Actually the stat may not have involved ‘ministers’ but I clearly remember that it was some group of people who eat at the very top of the buffet chain.


BTW – did you know that 27% of the Oman population is expatriate??


[2] Whilst in a similar conversation with several partners on a EU-funded serious games project, one elderly partner listened with obvious amusement whilst others mocked me (in a nice way it has to be said). He opened his wallet and drew out a clearly ancient scrap of paper and then proceeded to explain.


The chap had, many years ago (in 1970, the year of my birth I believe) been to China and was given a fortune cookie style lucky dip which involved drawing a stick out of a pile of hundreds of identical-looking sticks. The stick he choose had a very positive and personally meaningful message which the chap had kept to this (that) day because of it’s significant to him. Out of the hundreds of sticks he had chosen that one and the number on the piece of paper? Number 27…..of course!


[3] “From the screenwriter of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’; “27 Dresses”…jeesh…not exactly top of my wish list but c’mon people…..27 dresses????