Movie: Shakuntala Devi
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Banner: Sony Pictures
Cast: Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh
Cinematography: Keiko Nakahara
Scenario: Anu Menon, Nayanika Mahtani
Written and directed by: That’s Menon
Publication date: July 31, 2020
OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video
A biopic about Shakuntala Devi, the world-renowned mathematician, has aroused curiosity. Vidya Balan, who previously played the role of Silk Smitha to perfection. The biopic is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Born in Bangalore, Shakuntala Devi (Vidya Balan) was a child prodigy. She was good at numbers.
Seeking fame and living her life on her own terms, Shakuntala Devi’s relationship with her husband (Jisshu Sengupta) at first, and later with her daughter Anupama (Sanya Malhotra), had strained.
This biopic highlights her difficult relationships in relationships.
Performances by artists:
Good at playing such lifelike characters, Vidya Balan writes down Shakuntala Devi’s role so convincingly, so endearingly. Vidya Balan sinks into Shakuntala Devi’s skin. Sometimes we feel like watching the real Shakuntala Devi. As Shakuntala keeps saying, Vidya always wins with her performance.
Sanya Malhotra’s ‘Dangal’ fame as Shakuntala’s daughter also surpasses her role. She’s so perfect. Jissu Sengupta too. Amit Sadh as Sanya’s husband is okay.
The film has considerable technical values. Production design and cinematography stand out, but the music is a con. Dialogue writing is good.
The execution of Vidya Balan
Less focus on math
Emotions have no impact
‘Ma. Mostly Hum Sabka Pehla Sabdh, ”Shakuntala Devi’s daughter Anupama Banerji tells the story of Anu Menon’s Shakuntala Devi, a biopic about the world-famous mathematician.
The creators not only posted a disclaimer noting that this biopic is based on a true story as seen through the eyes of a daughter, but the story also began with the daughter filing a criminal case against Shakuntala Devi in London and thus explaining that this movie is just as good. such as about the life of the mathematician and also about the “comparison” between the mother and the daughter.
Shakuntala Devi, who has been described as a ‘human computer’, was bad at studies, but is a genius in numbers. Alphabets confused, but not the numbers. London, Paris, New York…. she toured the world stage shows of number games and math, but she didn’t give enough love to her daughter Anupama. The daughter longed to see her father who lived in Culcutta. Anupama begins to hate her mother.
The biopic focuses on this thread and provides a glimpse of Shakuntala Devi’s rise as a world-renowned mathematician, her love affairs and marriage to Paritosh, her other accomplishments as a writer and astrologer.
M square played a key role in Shakuntala Devi’s life – math and mother. Shakuntala Devi never wanted to be like her mother, she lived for herself. Shakuntala Devi’s daughter, Anupama, didn’t want to become like her mother either. But Shakuntala Devi’s maternal instincts eventually dominated her, and her daughter finally understands her mother too. This biopic focuses mainly on that curve.
The back and forth scenario also briefly explores various aspects of Shakuntala’s life.
Director Anu Menon has managed to tell the story from the eyes of a daughter, but the film lacks the emotional appeal we’ve seen in other well-crafted biopics. It never goes above the perimeter thread. It also doesn’t have the spunk it needed. It lacks the appeal of a ‘Mahanati’ to keep us riding with the story to the end. It’s not even half close to 2001’s ‘A Beautiful Mind’, which was also a biographical drama about a mathematician.
Furthermore, the downside is that the film has little to offer about Shakuntala Devi’s mathematical prowess and also runs on a predictable template.
In a nutshell, ‘Shakuntala Devi’ is a Vidya Balan show, works in parts but doesn’t make an engaging watch.
Bottom line: Mothers and daughters
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