The Man Who Knew Infinity
Time Out says
Movies about math have an uphill battle—this one has an inspiring story but ends up a zero-sum game.
This biopic of Indian math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan doesn’t go to infinity—or beyond. It features some exceedingly good actors, but the script gives us a version of his life that feels overly schematic and cleaned up, like a trailer for a movie that never materializes. This is a shame, because it’s an extraordinary story.
We meet Ramanujan (Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel) in 1914, working as a bookkeeper (his brain is quicker than an abacus). Self-taught, he writes to a professor (Jeremy Irons) at England’s Cambridge, who recognizes Ramanujan’s talent and invites him to the U.K., where he’s met with horrible, ugly racism everywhere. Old dons sneer at him and deliberately mispronounce his name; brainless thugs beat him up.
Does this young stranger in a strange land make it through, stunning the academic world with his number theories and equations? The Man Who Knew Infinity is polite, earnest stuff, but it never quite adds up to much.
Cast and crew