Friday, December 16, 2016

based on the book by Robert Kanigel [DVD Man]
Marvelous biographical study of the brilliant young Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his relationship with his British mentor, professor G.H. Hardy. When the sheer natural mathematical brilliance of Ramanujan is recognized by some of his teachers and co-workers in India, who realize that he won’t be able to make proper use of his gifts in his homeland, he corresponds with a British professor (Hardy) at Trinity College in Cambridge, and eventually goes to England to join Hardy in study, in hopes of getting some of his groundbreaking work published. Ramanujan finds both support and ethnic bigotry in England, exacerbated by the breakout of World War I. When grave illness threatens Ramanujan’s life, Hardy’s support of his colleague leads to Ramanujan’s theorems achieving acclaim, but at a cost. It is fascinating to study the contrast between the devoutly religious Ramanujan, who believed that his mathematical discoveries came to him as direct gifts from God and required no “proofs”, vs the atheist Hardy, who, although he respected and admired Ramanujan, still insisted that the Indian’s mathematical solutions had to undergo a formalized and rigorous “proving” process to verify their authenticity.

Dev Patel as Ramanujan and Jeremy Irons as Hardy are brilliant in this film, which also features a marvelous supporting cast. The production design and sets are top notch. Highly recommended!

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the Russell Crowe film, A Beautiful Mind, a different type of story, about a different famed mathematician, but if the math elements of this film intrigue you, you’ll enjoy that one as well!)

(Also available in traditional print format)

( Internet Movie Database entry for this film ) | ( official UK The Man Who Knew Infinity web site )

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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