Shakuntala Devi lived a celebrated life amidst a lot of jaw-dropping moments, yet very little is known about her personal life. This movie delves a lot into this and tries to share a glimpse into the world of this mathematical genius. To see her biopic, that too played by one of the finest from the current Bollywood actresses, Vidya Balan is a delight in the purest sense.
Much awaited Shakuntala Devi released today on Amazon Prime. Although the movie was not able to create huge buzz, this biography seems to be very interesting. A number-crunching genius, something very different from what Bollywood usually dwells with. With a peak into a not so usual childhood and how she travelled the world of London with her vibrant sarees and chottis, we glimpse into her awe-inspiring mathematical achievements.
Her talent was discovered by her father while he was teaching her a card trick.
In the year 1950, BBC host Leslie Mitchell gave her a complex mathematics problem which she solved within seconds, but the answer did not match Leslie’s. After rechecking the math, Mitchell realized that the original answer was wrong and Shakuntala Devi was indeed correct. This made her immensely famous and she was given the title “The Human Calculator”.
Shakuntala Devi was listed in the ‘1995 Guinness Book of World Records’ edition for her outstanding mathematical feat where she beat the world’s fastest computer at multiplying two thirteen digit numbers.
However, the crux of the movie seems to be around Shakuntala Devi- the genius vs Shakuntala Devi the imperfect mother. It is about the relationship she shares with her daughter Anupama Banerji. There are some brilliant moments. The supporting cast is great but it is Balan’s movie and she knows it. she owns every scene and plays the unconventional face of Indian geniuses of 1930s to perfection. Shakuntala Devi was better known as Human Calculator and was a very interesting personality which did seem to be on a dispute with her personal life.
Vidya Balan brings a certain vibrancy to the character of Shakuntala. Shakuntala was a genius and a total rock star. The film is slow paced at some places but overall it is pretty good. Sanya Malhotara( from Badhai Ho) played the role of her daughter with ease. The director Anu Menon also deserves credit for the guts to share such an unconventional story.
All we can say is Shakuntala Devi who desired to be a “Bada aadmi” and not a “badi aurat” has a story that needed to be told and we are happy that it was Vidya Balan who did it.
FRIYAY’s Take: Do keep this in your watchlist
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