The internal struggle of a woman to win the world with her Numbers is Shakuntala Devi.
Shakuntala Devi was a storm full of confidence and numbers.
Enjoyed watching Anu Menon’s Shakuntala Devi, a film that brings out a beautiful dilemma between a Mom and a genius Mathematician.
Shakuntala Devi, played by the versatile and confident actor Vidya Balan is a movie about a strong and independent woman. The story is narrated in flashback by Sanya Malhotra, who plays Shakuntala Devi’s daughter, Anu Banerjee.
In an era when women were far away from education. A little girl solves cube roots of complicated numbers in a flash, she is deprived of a ‘normal’ childhood by a father who drags her from one show to another to display her uncommon mathematical knowledge. At the age of six, she starts earning for the family by doing math shows around her village in schools and on stages. A family tragedy fuels her ambition to become a successful woman. Where she declares that one day she will become ‘bada aadmi, not a badi aurat’, a desire commonly expressed by little girls in the 1930s.
“Jab amazing ho sakti hu toh normal kyu banu”, is the line the movie takes and does well by. Especially when we see her, as a young woman, creating a life of her own in England, where she approaches everyone in her broken English, wearing colorful sarees and proudly showing off her two pigtails.
Throughout the movie, we see Shakuntala Devi does not need a male to help her prop her life. She is the happiest with her astonishing numbers, wowing her audience and mathematicians around the world.
Director Anu Menon has made sure that the audience never forgets that Shakuntala is a genius in her numbers. But she also keeps reminding that she is a vulnerable mother who wants to stay close to her daughter.
The second half of the story shows Shakuntala Devi as an imperfect mother.
The movie could have been more interesting if Anu Menon could focus on more facts of Shakuntala Devi’s political ambitions, shed light on why she wrote a book on homosexuality, the first of its kind in India. More light on the intriguing aspects like why she chooses astrology would have given us a complete picture of the life of Shakuntala.
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Shakuntala Devi Verdict & Rating
Vidya Balan has done a fabulous job of detailing and you can see her change the character’s mannerisms as Shakuntala ages. It is Vidya’s precision that makes the narration appealing. Without her, the film would have been a boring watch.
It is indeed an enjoyable and happy film that you will want to watch with your mother. Because sometimes you need to look at your mother from a woman’s point of view too.
The World of Movies Rating: 7/10
Movie Title: Shakuntala Devi
Directed by: Anu Menon
Written by: Anu Menon, Nayanika Mahtani, Ishita Moitra
Main Cast: Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi, Sanya Malhotra as Anupama Banerji, Amit Sadh as Ajay Abhaya Kumar, Jisshu Sengupta as Paritosh Banerji
Year of Release: 2020
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country of Origin: India
Running time: 127 minutes
Production Company: Abundantia Entertainment, Sony Pictures Networks Productions
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing, Amazon Prime Video
Image Source: Screenshots taken from the movie.
Reviewed by: Namita Tribhuwan