The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) Review


 Verdict: Enlightening 

Great acting and mise-en-scene, but rather dense.

Review

S. Ramanujan (Dev Patel) has an inexplicable passion for numbers and formulas.With the help of Sir Francis Spring (Stephen Fry) and Narayana (Dhritiman Chaterji), he sends letters to mathematicians in England. Upon receiving his letter, Hardy (Jeremy Irons) invited Ramanujan to Cambridge. Ramanujan soon finds how difficult and different a society Cambridge houses, with only a few like Littlewood (Toby Jones) and Bertrand Russell (Jeremy Northam) not showing him distaste. Directed and written by Matt Brown.

Quite and enlightening film, showcasing a story I wasn’t aware of. While the film was nicely made and had a great cast, I feel like it fell short. The genius factor is pretty much thrust upon the audience , and while I had an inkling of what the math geniuses were working on, the rest of it went over my head. If they had gone into a bit more depth about what it was that made Ramanujan a genius, it may have worked out better.

There was a great cast overall, which really helped to sell the time period of the film. Patel is quite the actor, and the earnest passion of his character shines through his performance. I had thought his Indian accent would be a off-putting, but he does it quite well. Just discovered that he adopted an Australian accent for a previous movie, and it’s quite good. Irons as well does a good job at being a posh professor, but it is hard at times to discern if he is with or against Ramanujan. Devika Bhise who plays Ramanujan’s wife, Janaki, adds a soft touch to the masculine world of scholars (at that time).

Apart from the lack of detail/explanation in reference to the mathematical formulas, it would have been good to explain a little of the Indian culture depicted. I understand that the subtlety may make the culture more mysterious or authentic, but I was especially confused by the chemistry between some characters and a little clarification would have been nice. Furthermore, Patel’s and Bhise’s characters are very awkward with each other, and the story there isn’t explored enough.

Overall, a well put together film with great acting, but just lacking in detail.

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, story, mise-en-scene
CONS: Assumed math genius, unexplained family dynamics

I give this a 7/10.

Have you seen The Man Who Knew Infinity? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!

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