The Man Who Knew Infinity is the biopic of Indian mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, whose groundbreaking formulas continue to be used by scientists to analyze black holes even today. The film feels safe and conventional, and frankly a tad boring. Which is a shame, because it’s such an extraordinary story.

Dev Patel stars as Ramanujan, a self-taught maths genius employed as a lowly clerk in 1914 Madras when he sent samples of his theories to Cambridge professor GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons) who recognized his talent and invited him to come study in England. Confronted with prejudice from snooty dons on campus, and missing his wife terribly, Ramanujan battled racism and isolation in chilly Cambridge, where he nevertheless stayed five years and produced a staggering volume of original work. On being diagnosed with tuberculosis, he returned home to India, where he died at the age of 32.

Director Matt Brown offers a reverential portrait of our protagonist but struggles to convey the magic of numbers. Although much noise is made about Ramanujan’s revolutionary theories and ideas, we’re provided very little evidence of this. There is repeated talk of prime numbers and partitions, and we watch as crusty professors are bewildered by his ‘intuitive’ deductions. But ask me what I learned about his achievements, and I’m still blank.

The best thing about the film, however, is the slow-burning friendship between Hardy and Ramanujan, who start out as mentor-protégé but evolve into equal partners with time. Jeremy Irons does a great job of softening Hardy’s edges, investing the famously authoritative veteran with a degree of warmth. Dev Patel, although miscast as Ramanujan (Whose idea was it to hire a British Asian actor with Gujarati roots and a London accent in the role of a late 19th-century Tam-Brahm?) nicely communicates the excitability and the passion of the man. There’s an unmistakable earnestness in Patel’s performance that’s hard not to appreciate.

The film is handsomely mounted, and the scenes shot at Trinity College Cambridge are particularly impressive. But because the film never truly succeeds in conveying Ramanujan’s accomplishments, it remains a mostly superficial affair. I’m going with two out of five.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, Kelly Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura...

    BMS EditorDecember 15, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Monsoon Shootout

    Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Varma, Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Thapa, Sreejita De Director: Amit Kumar Monsoon Shootout poses an eternal question plaguing all of us...

    BMS EditorDecember 15, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Murder On The Orient Express

    Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Odom Jr, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman,...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Coco

    Cast: Voices of Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Alanna Ubach Director: Lee Unkrichs It’s the holiday season, and the makers of...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Ajji

    Cast: Sushama Deshpande, Smita Tambe, Abhishek Banerjee, Sadiya Siddiqui, Sudhir Pandey, Sharvani Suryavanshi Director: Devashish Makhija Bollywood has thrown as many as four...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Justice League

    Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciaran Hinds, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons...

    BMS EditorNovember 18, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Tumhari Sulu

    Cast: Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya, Malishka Mendonsa Director: Suresh Triveni Delivering a knockout performance as a middle-class...

    BMS EditorNovember 18, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of A Bad Moms Christmas

    What’s more disturbing than the idea of three young moms behaving irresponsibly? Well, you’re about to find out in A Bad Moms...

    BMS EditorNovember 11, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Qarib Qarib Singlle

    Qarib Qarib Singlle, starring Irrfan Khan and Parvathy, revisits that familiar premise of a romance kindled over a road trip. To...

    BMS EditorNovember 11, 2017

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2017 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup