Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Film that Knows Infinity

The Man who knew Infinity

It's tough to make biopics, tougher to be authentic and still tougher to make it engaging ,especially when your subject dabbled with higher mathematics. The Man Who Knew Infinity directed by Mathew Brown based on the life of Mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujam pulls off this task with elan. The story of this Indian Mathemetician who was honoured with a Royal Society Fellowship is well known. We already had one biopic in Tamil on him titled Ramanujam. I haven't seen it so can't offer any comparisons. The current movie portrays his life,work and passion with taste  and honesty. Dev Patel acquits himself well in the title role while Jeremy Irons lives his role as Prof. Hardy.Devika Bhise puts in a spirited performance as Janaki,the wife of the genius. The life and times of the great Indian is brought out well by the arts department and the England scenario which is most of the movie ,is also perfect to a fault. The highlight of the movie is that the subject of Mathematics is dealt with seriously ,not dumbed down. The scene where Hardy explains the " partitions " is an example and his comment " even you can understand this " is almost directed at the audience.
Today education is seen as a part of one's job application. A necessary evil that has to be suffered before one settles for a job and a high salary. Employability is a buzzword and the pursuit of  knowledge for the sake of it is considered archaic. This movie is a reminder that pursuit of pure science is a pleasure which should not be denied to our gennext in the guise of making them employable. Science for the sake of science is part of what makes man great. Let's keep it that way at least for the gifted.
For starters how many of us know the Chennai houses two world class Mathematical institutes?

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