Starring: Dev Patel (Srinivasa Ramanujan), Jeremy Irons (G. H. Hardy), Toby Jones (John Edensor Littlewood), Stephen Fry (Sir Francis Spring), Jeremy Northam (Bertrand Russell), Kevin McNally (Major MacMahon), Devika Bhise (Janaki), Arundhati Nag (Ramanujan’s mother), Dhrithiman Chatterjee (Narayana Iyer)
Director: Matthew Brown
Music: Coby Brown
Cinematography: Lary Smith
India has been the land to produce masterminds since times immemorial. Whether it be the man who invented zero, Aryabhatta or the arch philosopher, Swami Vivekananda, who took the concept of the Vedas to the Western world, India has always continued to produce great minds and intellectual personalities. The Man Who Knew Infinity is the story of another such Indian, Srinivasa Ramanujan, the man who gave a different outlook to the Mathematics and Mathematicians of those days.
Dating back to the early 1900’s, the movie portrays the struggling life of and Indian Brahmin with a brilliant mind, who fails to get a job anywhere just because he does not have a degree. In his conquest to establish himself and feed his family, Ramanujan comes across Narayan Iyer (Dhrithiman Chatterjee), who not only offers him a job at a warehouse but also understands and spreads the word of Ramanujan’s work across the sea’s to England. On seeing the potential and level of Ramanujan’s work, Hardy and Eastwood, highly noted mathematicians from the Trinity College of London.
Direction from Matthew brown is impeccable and flawless. The scenes shown from the life of Ramanujan are noteworthy, with every scene making a captivating impression on the viewers mind. Ramanujan’s only struggle was not to establish himself, but to prove that his findings were right and that too in a foreign country against all odds. Portraying the times he lived in, the director and his team make no mistakes in sets, costume design, music, culture, etc.
Introspecting the acting performances, our main man, Dev Patel begins on a shaky foot, but later gathers momentum. His performance is no doubt laudable, but fails to match the class of the script. Performance from Jeremy Irons, playing Ramanujan’s mentor, G.H. hardy, is a stellar. The 160 minute movie all along is supported by graceful acting performances by Dhrithiman Chatterjee, Toby Jones, Arundhati Nag and Devika Bhise.
Other than the script, the acting the next aspect where the movie goes above all expectations are the dialogues. Some of them like, “I am here to publish” and “great knowledge comes from the humblest of origins” are some of the few that steer the ship along. Despite all its perfections, the movie does not seem the legend it was aspired to be. Indeed it gives an exemplary demonstration of the struggles and rise of Ramanujan, his family, the mathematics in those days and his friendship with his mentor G.H. Hardy, but still the portrayal lacks the finishing touches, which could have made this movie what Matthew Brown wanted it to be.
The Man Who Knew Infinity is heart touching, full of emotions and a movie worth watching for every Indian. It is not only the story, but also the incredible dedication, belief and efforts, Ramanujan puts in his work to get it to a pedestal where it reaches the entire world. So, to learn the story of Ramanujan, how does he find his eternal prize? What are the circumstances that he has to fight against? His relations with his family, watch The Man Who Knew Infinity rise to gory.
My rating: 4.0/5