Shakuntala Devi Movie Review: Vidya Balan Embodies Math Genius’ Tireless Spirit in a Robust Performance


Shakuntala Devi

Cast: Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh

Directer: Anu Menon

Too continuously in the movie “Shakuntala Devi”, which stars Vidya Balan because the genius mathematician who was once dubbed The Human Computer, one will pay attention anyone ask: “How does she do it?” That query comes up unfailingly each and every time she dazzles a new target market together with her brilliance, seldom taking a 2d look on the blackboard prior to hopefully damn off the proper solution to a difficult sum, or providing 8 and nine-digit responses to dice root issues faster than the quickest laptop.

It is not any spoiler to expose that that query stays unanswered even on the finish of the movie, in spite of efforts each by way of Shakuntala Devi herself, and others, to decide what it’s about numbers that turns a transfer on within her.

The movie, directed by way of Anu Menon, is an try to know the way Shakuntala’s love for maths, and the respect that accompanied it, knowledgeable each and every side of her existence, and particularly strained her courting together with her daughter.

The clue lies in her early years, as a younger woman rising up in Bangalore in the 30s and 40s, robbed of a commonplace early life, her brilliance exploited to supply a livelihood for her circle of relatives, and leaving fissures that may run deep. The screenplay, by way of Menon and Nayanika Mahtani, strikes backward and forward over time like a highlights reel in their topic’s existence. Shakuntala’s arrival in London, her popularity at the world circuit, a whirlwind romance and next marriage to captivating Calcutta bureaucrat Paritosh Banerji (Jisshu Sengupta), and the delivery in their daughter Anupama.

Vidya brings a full-bodied feistiness to Shakuntala, and the movie remains on target whilst it’s concerned with her love affair with numbers. There’s a actual thrill in looking at her decimate apparently unimaginable calculations conveniently and unmistakable swag. But the fractured courting together with her grown-up daughter (Sanya Malhotra) yields one of the most movie’s dullest scenes. Resentful of her mom’s egocentric, cussed nature Anupama is continuously in fight mode, even together with her loving husband (Amit Sadh). It’s all doubly laborious because of the useless back-and-forth construction of the narrative; you’re left to depend at the women’ distracting hairstyles to determine the timeline.

What the movie leaves you with are some significant questions. About profession, parenting, ambition, and why we pass judgement on girls extra harshly than males relating to their outlook on those issues. Shakuntala Devi was once an atypical lady who insisted on residing existence on her personal phrases. She made it to the Guinness Book of Records, wrote a bunch of books herself, together with one on homosexuality, and was once a a hit astrologer. Vidya Balan embodies her tireless spirit in a tough efficiency this is the most productive factor in this another way inconsistent movie.

The struggle between Shakuntala and her daughter is resolved maximum simplistically…which isn’t to mention it isn’t a actual struggle. But a movie about a lady who possessed such a lot aptitude may just’ve achieved with some aptitude in its telling.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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