The Man Who Knew Infinity review
written by Souranath Banerjee
An important story of a legend that needed to be told for sure but at the same time could have been told in more style.
My ratings: 3.9/5
From a poverty stricken village in Madras a young self-taught mathematical prodigy eventually becomes an elected fellow member of Trinity College, Cambridge!
Within a short life span of only 32 years this Indian math genius independently composed nearly 3,900 unique equations, most of
which are revered globally such as the ‘Ramanujan prime’ and the ‘Ramanujan theta function’.
But his hall of fame doesn’t end there; very recently (in 2012 to be exact) modern scientists have confirmed that in one of his precious (lost and found) notebook this legendary mind had scribbled certain intuitive notes that actually suggests the existence of black holes!
Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar – he is the man who indeed knew about infinity and much more.
The film The Man Who Knew Infinity directed by Matt Brown is the biographical tale of Ramanujan’s life; a bit of his personal life, his devotions and beliefs, his never ending quest for pure mathematics and mostly his unique collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy.
First of all, let me acknowledge the fact that the very idea of making a film on Ramanujan’s life is impressive because no matter how legendary he was, but a biography on a Indian mathematician is always difficult to portray in an interesting and commercially viable manner.
But on the same note i must confess that the film could have been more innovative and appealing (specially when compared to some awesome biographies like A Beautiful Mind, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game); the script could have been woven in a more endearing way not only to show the mere facts of Ramanujan’s life but also to make the audience really feel the genius of this man.
Dev Patel as Ramanujan though has done a great job. He is such a talented and versatile actor and I am convinced that only because of his honest attempt to portray the iconic figure that the film The Man Who Knew Infinity holds it’s ground till the end.
Jeremy Irons as G. H. Hardy is also impressive, the professor who not only recognized Ramanujan’s immense potential and helped him achieve greatness but also used his talent till exhaustion (of course for the sake of a better future of mathematics).
Overall The Man Who Knew Infinity is a decent film based on the life of an extraordinary man to whom our modern science and mathematics will be indebted forever.
Compared internationally to the likes of Newton and Einstein, on Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary in 2011, our Indian Government have declared 22nd December as the National Mathematics Day which will be celebrated every year.
Do watch the film and henceforth don’t forget to solve at least one math problem on every 22nd of December!
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com