Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Man Who Knew Infinity

       Buried among the start of the summer "blockbuster" season is this gem of an Indie film, based on the true story of Indian Mathematician, Srinivasa  Ramanujan, the first Indian to be awarded a Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.

        Fans of "A Beautiful Mind" and "Good Will Hunting" will certainly appreciate a story centered around mathematics. But rest assured, you don't need be a math scholar to appreciate the moving and human story of this brilliant man. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) plays Ramanujan, and once he leaves India for England in 1918, he begins a five year collaboration with the mathematician G. H. Hardy (played by Jeremy Irons).

        The friendship that develops between the two men is the core of the story. The very human drama doesn't shy away from the racism and class struggles of the period. Mr. Ramanujan's life in England is far from easy but his early critics and scholarly snobs soon can't ignore his brilliant mind. Mr. Hardy and John Littlewood remain his biggest supporters and working together amass volumes of work that are still studied and applied in today's mathematics.

          Mr, Patel and Mr. Irons have wonderful chemistry together and Mr. Patel is such a charming and engaging actor, it's easy to root for his character to succeed. While the script focuses on the two men, there is a sub-plot of Mr. Ramanujan's wife, (Devika Bhise) and mother (Arundhati Nag) that he left behind in India that becomes integral to the story.

           The is a terrific drama anchored by two excellent performances and a story not easily forgotten.

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