Tag Archives: The Theory of Everything

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

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
Srinivasa-Ramanujan-posterwhich 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.man-who-knew-infinity-poster2

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 man-who-knew-infinity-poster1Ramanujan’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).  

Toby Jones as Littlewood, Devika Bhise as Ramanujan’s wife, Stephen FryPadraic DelaneyRichard Cunningham and all the others did
man-who-knew-infinity-postertheir part to support the main cast.

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

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The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Only such powerful acting could hold the film together with enough distinction.   

My Ratings: 3.8/5.

Tom Hooper, who earlier directed films like The King’s Speech (2010) and Les Misérables (2012) has recently come up with his latest – a biopic named The Danish Girl.

danish-girl-poster3Loosely based on the lives of Danish couple Einar and Gerda Wegener, but essentially the film is inspired by the real story of Einar Wegener’s transformation into Lili Elbe, undergoing a sex reassignment surgery to physically transform from a man to a woman (one of the first in the history of sex-change operations).

The experiences of such a radical and innovative journey as a transgender pioneer is well documented in Lili Elbe’s autobiography “Man into Woman” which was published in 1933, an inspiration to the transgender movement till date.

The Danish Girl starts of by introducing us to the Wegener couple, both young artists with a pretty regular love life but soon things take a turn when Einar develops a fascination for the delicate ladies danish-girl-poster1garments and cosmetics and fancies himself as a girl, playfully dressing himself up as Lili (a fictitious character).

And soon enough, to an utter surprise to his wife Gerda, Einar has a sudden urge to change his sexual orientation and reveals that he actually wants to be Lili in her real life; he claims that he seems to be a women trapped in a man’s body!

So many years back then, such a concept was indeed a novelty and was of course resisted and condemned by many but Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe was one lucky person to finally had her wish fulfilled. But then again she had to pay a heavy price for her sexual freedom.

danish-girl-poster4Honestly for me, if it wasn’t because of the brilliance of the actors like Eddie Redmayne (Oscar winner for The Theory of Everything)Alicia Vikander (popular for her part in Ex Machina) and Matthias Schoenaerts (famous for his role in Rust and Bone), the film would not have been half as interesting as it is now; and so the casting director Nina Gold also needs a special mention here.

And thanks to cinematographer Danny Cohen for the overall look and feel of the film.

The Danish Girl is an important tale that needs to be told but somehow 2 hours of screen time made it a bit too lengthy compared to its content material.

Though surely worth a watch.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

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Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 (no foreign language films included in this list).

written by Souranath Banerjee.

2014 was one awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

It’s the time to remember the best performances of this year, the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

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It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

9. Gone Girl

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Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

nightcrawler-posterA dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1uP_8VJkDQ

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

6. Interstellar

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A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

5. The Theory of Everything

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The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

4. Foxcatcher

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Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

3. Whiplash

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The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

1. Boyhood

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A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

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Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

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The Theory of Everything (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Biographies are always tricky since the director has to walk on a tight rope to maintain a balance between the genuineness of the character (on whom the film is based on) and the obvious cinematic liberty required to make the film entertaining.

And James Marsh (who earlier has some experience with tightrope walkers – remember Man on Wire?) has done a superb job with his latest film The Theory of Everything, which is a biography based on the personal life of world renowned physicist Stephen Hawkings.

theory-of-everything-poster4The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde; a courageous love story that bloomed and strengthened in spite of the fact that Stephen was diagnosed with ‘motor neuron disease’ very early in his college life which eventually (as predicted) made him completely paralysed.

Apparently based on a book written by Jane Hawkings titled ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ the film captures the different stages of their love life with incredible honesty. 

During the screening of the film Stephen Hawkings had tears in his eyes as he watched Eddie Redmayne play his character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance.

Mr.Hawkings also mentioned to director James Marsh in an e-mail that certain parts of the film are so realistic that he thought he was watching himself. Now that’s something!

Stephen-HawkingStephen Hawking was so impressed that he allowed the filmmakers to use his original voice; he also lent his Medal of Freedom medallion and his signed thesis to use as genuine props in the film.

Outstanding performance by Felicity Jones as Jane Hawkings, a lady with tremendous courage, who dared to stand by her lover/husband in remarkably tough situations. 

Though based on the life of a world famous scientist The Theory of Everything deals very less with science and more with Stephen’s personal sentiments.

It’s not a film celebrating Stephen Hawkings as the best physicist of our recent times but it’s about honoring him as a spirited individual who knows how to appreciate life against extraordinary odds. And that is one of the main reasons of the film’s success.

A few emotional scenes are so touchy that i bet you will have a tough time taming your tear bags.

Theory-of-Everything-Poster3Beautifully shot by Benoît Delhomme and awesome music by Jóhann Jóhannsson; the film is surely one of the best biography’s of this year. 

Already nominated in four categories for the Golden Globes and also predicted to be nominated for the Oscars – this is a film that shouldn’t be missed.

A few words of Stephen Hawkings about life and hope:

There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.

 
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