In the 1910s, Srinivasa Ramanujan is a man of boundless intelligence that even the abject poverty of his home in Madras, India, cannot crush. Eventually, his stellar intelligence in mathematics and his boundless confidence in both attract the attention of the noted British mathematics professor, G.H. Hardy, who invites him to further develop his computations at Trinity College at Cambridge. Forced to leave his young wife, Janaki, behind, Ramanujan finds himself in a land where both his largely intuitive mathematical theories and his cultural values run headlong into both the stringent academic requirements of his school and mentor and the prejudiced realities of a Britain heading into World War One. Facing this with a family back home determined to keep him from his wife and his own declining health, Ramanujan joins with Hardy in a mutual struggle that would define Ramanujan as one of India's greatest modern scholars who broke more than one barrier in his worlds. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the movie, Littlewood walks across the campus with Ramanujan and points out the apple tree that Isaac Newton observed the falling apple. In fact, the apple tree was (and still is) growing in the gardens at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, his birthplace. However, a graft from that tree grows in a courtyard garden in the Physics Department at the University of York. See more »
When Prof. Littlewood welcomes Ramanujan to the college and shows him the tree under which Sir Issac Newton discovered gravity, Littlewood says, "That's the very tree under which Newton sat, and the apple dropped on his head and he invented gravity". While Newton discovered (not invented) gravity, this is clearly Littlewood's attempt at a joke. See more »
Don't be intimidated. Great knowledge comes from the humblest of origins.
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Card before the title: "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty." - Bertrand Russell See more »
Wasted Opportunity. Simply Trite and Just Not Compelling.
In better hands - scripting, directing and casting of main character - this would have been a winner of a movie based on a real-to-life mathematical genius.
As it is, the whole thing is simply trite, contrived and a whole waste of a good opportunity. Right up front, the use of near standard English by the Indian cast who were supposed to be from the "abject poverty" of Madras is downright unbelievable and ridiculous.
The script doesn't know what it wants to focus on - is it about an Indian displaced in England? Is it about the genius of the man? Is it about the tribulations of leaving your young wife and family to go abroad? Is it about another important leap of mankind in the area of mathematics? Is it about the relationship between a student and his mentor? It is all over the place and at the same time pointless and trite.
Jeremy Irons is superb and is the only key redeeming feature of the whole movie. Cinematography is colour-by-numbers, but good enough. Apart from the mundane meandering scripting, Dev Patel is a total miscast. He is simply a one-dimensional school play actor who simply does not at all have the talent to take on the range a proper lead sorely requires. He is just playing himself in all the movies he has done - same doe-eyed expression, same hesitating mannerisms, same scuttling around, same intonation, just same himself - he does not at all inhabit this very important lead character, and his amateurism is just a constant sore annoyance throughout the movie.
This movie is a dis-service to Srinivasa Ramanujan. It doesn't give any insight into his genius nor a sense of his highly unique and compelling short life.
Watch it with little expectations, and it may be mildly entertaining, but never interesting, and certainly never compelling.
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