Mathematics, my old foe – we meet again. While anything beyond the basics tends to make my brain shut down much like Nick’s when confronted by a childproof cap, movies about maths and its practitioners are a different story – Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind and Proof for example were all rather interesting and engaging to watch.
So I was quite pleased to see this trailer pop up for The Man Who Knew Infinity – the upcoming biographical drama based on the life of
magician mathematician Srinavasa Ramanujan, who performed pioneering research in mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. I have no idea what that means but it sounds important.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
Colonial India, 1913. Srinavasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a 25-year-old shipping clerk and self-taught genius, who failed out of college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics.
Determined to pursue his passion despite rejection and derision from his peers, Ramanujan writes a letter to G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), an eminent British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hardy recognises the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s raw talent and despite the scepticism of his colleagues, undertakes bringing him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored.
Even a cursory examination reveals just how much adversity Ramanujan had to overcome in order for himself and his work to be taken seriously by the academic establishment – which makes it an excellent subject for a biographical movie. Combined with its dramatic powerhouse of a cast this is one I’d very much like to see, or maybe I already have (hah!)? How about you?
The Man Who Knew Infinity is due for release in the UK on 8 April and in the US on 29 April, no local date as yet. Written and directed by Matt Brown, and based on the 1991 biography of the same name by Robert Kanigel, it stars Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise, Toby Jones and Stephen Fry.
Last Updated: February 29, 2016