Monday, August 3, 2020

Shakuntala Devi Human Computer:- A Movie Review

A beautiful movie but it forgets the mathematical journey of Shakuntala Devi

What do you expect from a movie named after a genius? Previously there were few Hollywood movies made about mathematics, but I don’t remember Bollywood had any (apart Super 30 of Anand Kumar). As a student of Math, a movie about Human-computer Shakuntala Devi appealed to me, unlike any other regular movies.

A life journey of a mathematician who holds a Guinness World Record for the fastest mental calculation would be an inspiration and treat for anyone who watches her. Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi is a justice done to the character. Amazon Prime premiered the movie in the last week of July 2020. Sadly, the audio is available only in the Hindi language, but it has an English subtitle.

Shakuntala Devi, with no formal schooling and education, had limitless math solving ability and outperforms in shows starting from Bangalore of India to the various parts of the world. But the movie is more about her personal relationships with her mother and her daughter than about her mathematical achievements. This movie is a collection of experiences of the journey of forgiveness to her mother, which she realizes after she encounters the problem in a relationship with her daughter.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

I expected that movie will talk more about Shakuntala Devi’s struggle in mathematical success, however, it seems to avoid most of them. Yes, the movie also talks about lots of fascinating math shows, but I wish it also had stories of her hurdles and achievements as a woman mathematician which she encountered in her life.

The 127-minute long movie is more like a family movie. From the beginning to the end, the story evolves mostly in a common language understood by common people, as viewers do not need any mathematics knowledge. Apart from the few animations of numbers shown on the screen, the movie has very little to do with mathematics but mostly Shakuntala Devi's personal life.

Did the production house of Shakuntala Devi forget about the advantage of dubbing in additional language? The movie could reach a bigger audience in that case.

I wish, in the future when a director makes a biopic movie, I wish they do not forget to elaborate on the work of those gems.

Movie recommended:- Yes
My rating:- 3.5 out of 5

This review was first posted on 

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