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 (email@example.com)
The problem with this movie is that not a lot happens. And it's very slow. The maths is too abstract for the average viewer to appreciate the ground breaking nature of S. Ramanujan's work. The best thing about the movie is that it brings to the modern audience an awareness of the genius of Ramanujan - who was apparently every bit Einstein's equal or better, but remains basically unknown outside of maths academia.
The movie struggles because it can't build to any kind of dramatic "Eureka" moment, when there's a sudden breakthrough that leads to some sort of climax that the general audience knows about. The Imitation Game (2014) at least had a sense of time running out with Alan Turing (and others) trying to find a code to crack the Enigma Machine in WWII. This movie hasn't got that sort of pressure and it doesn't build to any sort of major breakthrough. It's just an interesting story about a maths genius of the 20th Century who most people have never heard of.
The director has obviously tried to build up the love story to give the audience something to connect with, but unfortunately it is largely fictional. In real life, 21 year old Ramanujan married his young bride who was 9 or 10 at the time. 5 years later he left her in India with family as he set off for England and Cambridge. The interfering mother- in-law and the star crossed lovers scenario in the movie seems to be pretty fictionalised in an attempt to provide something a little less dry than maths equations.
Nevertheless, the movie is beautifully acted. It's just pretty slow.
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