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The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 29 April 2016 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
The story of the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy.

Director:

Matt Brown (as Matthew Brown)

Writers:

Matt Brown (screenplay), Matt Brown | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... G.H. Hardy
Dev Patel ... S. Ramanujan
Malcolm Sinclair ... Professor Cartwright
Raghuvir Joshi Raghuvir Joshi ... Narasimha
Dhritiman Chatterjee ... Narayana Iyer (as Dhritiman Chaterji)
Stephen Fry ... Sir Francis Spring
Arundathi Nag Arundathi Nag ... Komalatammal
Devika Bhise ... Janaki
Pádraic Delaney ... Beglan
Toby Jones ... John Edensor Littlewood
Jeremy Northam ... Bertrand Russell
San Shella ... Dr. Muthu
Richard Cunningham ... Hobson
Thomas Bewley Thomas Bewley ... Baker
Anthony Calf ... Robert Alfred Herman
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a limitless mind See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Leavitt ("The Lost Language of Cranes") wrote a semi-fictional version of this story in his novel, "The Indian Clerk". See more »

Goofs

The start of the movie shows Ramanujan's struggles dated to 1914. Ramanujan was already corresponding with Hardy in 1913, and was favorably well-known in the years before because of his mathematical abilities. See more »

Quotes

S. Ramanujan: These steps you want, I do not know how to do!
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Crazy Credits

Card before the title: "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty." - Bertrand Russell See more »

Connections

Featured in StarTalk: Jeremy Irons (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
a tale of two cultures that collide in the hallowed halls of Cambridge
11 May 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

Without movies so much history would go unnoticed. Bio-pics like The Theory of Everything (2015) and The Imitation Game (2015) celebrate icons of knowledge and elevate brains to equal footing with sporting and other heroes. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016) is another such story that needs to be told. The field of theoretical mathematics is not one that will excite many audiences and this film does little to convince us of its charms. Making sense of what was achieved in this field is an insurmountable challenge, so instead the film tells a tale of two cultures that collide in the hallowed halls of Cambridge in the early 1900s.

Gifted self-taught mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (Bev Patel) was born into poverty in India and had no formal education. He absorbed mathematics intuitively and believed that "a mathematical equation had no meaning unless it expressed a thought of God". Having learnt all he could in India he connects with Professor GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons) of Cambridge, one of the leading mathematicians of the era and an avowed atheist. The rest of the story is a beautifully told narrative cliché of a dark skinned genius and his obstacle-course odyssey from poverty to a Fellow of Cambridge. Srinivasa's belief in God's will as the source of his gift clashed with musty academic traditions that required detailed proofs behind every mathematical breakthrough which initially led many academics to denounce him as a fraud. He found class, racial, religious and cultural barriers everywhere and Hardy's patronage forced Srinivasa to work against what came naturally. Having left a wife behind in his beloved India, he was emotionally isolated and his health suffered.

Nobody does historical period films like the British and this one has impressively high production values for a novice director and modest budget. It portrays the mood and style of the era with authenticity, both in Madras and England. The filming favours Srinivasa's viewpoint to show what it must have been like for a person of his humble origins to walk the grounds of Cambridge and encounter its academic aristocracy. The greatest strength of the story undoubtedly comes from its acting principals Jeremy Irons and Bev Patel. They play opposites in every way except in their love of pure maths, yet Hardy's patronage ensured that Srinivasa's legacy continues into the modern era. This is a great story of a hitherto little-known Olympian of knowledge that will thrust his name into today's mainstream film culture.


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Details

Language:

English | Tamil | Sanskrit

Release Date:

29 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Knew Infinity See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,325, 1 May 2016

Gross USA:

$3,866,794

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,252,684
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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