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The Man Who Knew Infinity : A tale of one of the Greatest Mathemaicians of all times (Film Review)


The man who knew infinity is a movie about one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, Srinivasa Ramanujan. Ramanjuan as a mathematician was a mind full of ideas and innovations as far as the universe of mathematics is considered and thus, his ideas were too advanced to be understood by someone at that time. From the story to its making, here’s my take on the film.

The Review

The film starts with Mr. Ramanujan (portrayed by Dev Patel) in Madras, living separated from his family in search of a respectable job in the then ruling British Government. He travels all across the city, in rain and cold, but all in vain, his mathematics is not understood by any so called “experts” in the then Madras presidency as the Britishers lure him away because of his speech and dressing. But then comes a ray of hope disguised as Narayan Iyer (by Dhritiman Chatterjee) who looks at Ramanujan’s mathematics and offers him a job as a clerk upon an agreement that Ramanujan shall help him understand his mathematics.

As soon as Mr. Ramanujan lands a job, the story shifts to the personal life of his as they have shown his wife Janaki, portrayed wonderfully by Devika Bhise and his Mother who is played by Arundhati Nag. Ramanujan is shown explaining what mathematics is and a beautiful dialogue between him and his wife adds that sense of deeper meaning and spirituality as a connect to science to the movie. Stephen Fry’s character as Sir Francis is as perfect as it could be done. Recognizing Ramanujan’s talents, both Narayan Iyer and Sir Francis decide to send Ramanujan to England so that there must be someone who will help his discoveries get published and ultimately noticed. This is when, Jeremy Irons as Dr. Hardy is introduced and yes his performance is beyond amazing in the whole movie. His dedication to his act of portraying one of the best mathematicians G.H. Hardy is clearly reflected in the film

Ramanujan gets accepted and sets off to Cambridge England where he expects his work to be recognized. But things go off charts as the then British Education system becomes a wall in his works getting published. Ramanujan is told to attend lectures and most surprisingly told to prove his works which he claims to have no proof since they were told to him by his goddess Namagiri and now are directly applied to study black holes.

Ultimately, Ramanujan’s works get published and a few questions which are beyond the understanding of science are answered through the means of spiritual understandings which Srinivasa Ramanujan brings along with his vast mathematics. The cinematography is to the point since every scene at every location has been given its justice. The direction by none other than Matt Brown considerably amazes but still goes a little low at times when the music and the visuals do not match. The script paves its way to make the movie an interesting watch. Considering the acting part, every actor has performed its role very well where you will notice that actors like Dhritiman Chatterjee (Narayan Iyer). Jeremy Irons as (G.H Hardy), Toby Jones as (Littlewood) and Stephen Fry as (Sir Francis) and of course Dev Patel as Ramanujan.

The movie is math intense and doesn’t include any songs as there in Bollywood thus has garnered mixed reactions of the audiences. But then, the movie is an inspirational saga of the much lesser known mathematician and the job to understand and depict his works is surely a difficult one. Much of the facts have been accurately depicted in the movie, the crisp film making style sets the movie leagues apart from the other biopics made till date and a perfect mix of casting, script and story-line makes this film a must watch for all.

Learning from the Film

The film is a total inspiration for me as I learned a lot of things from it. First and foremost is the love and dedication which Ramanujan had for his subject is something which I learned. The man was throughout a down to earth person even after achieving a fellowship from the most prestigious universities of the world and being recognized as one of the top mathematicians. The importance of hard work and patience can be learned through this film since even after a lot of hardships, Ramanujan failed to publish but his patience and a spirit to work made him much beyond that.

My verdict : 4/5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Quick Facts

Director: Matt Brown (as Matthew Brown)
Writers: Matt Brown (screenplay), Matt Brown
Stars: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Malcolm Sinclair
ImDb rating : 7.2/10

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