The Man Who Knew Infinity review by Bobby Blakey
There are some truly interesting stories out there that most of us never hear about. These stories end up making up some of the best films out there when handled right. The latest, The Man Who Knew Infinity features a great cast including Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Stephen Fry, and Toby Jones, but does it do this interesting story justice or will it be a problem that just can’t be solved?
The Man Who Knew Infinity follows Srinivasa Ramanujan, a man of boundless intelligence that even the abject poverty of his home in Madras, India cannot crush. Eventually, his stellar intelligence in mathematics and his boundless confidence in both attract the attention of the noted British mathematics professor, G.H. Hardy, who invites him to further develop his computations at Trinity College at Cambridge in the 1910s. Forced to leave his young wife, Janaki, behind, Ramanujan finds himself in a land where both his largely intuitive mathematical theories and his cultural values run headlong into both the stringent academic requirements of his school and mentor and the prejudiced realities of a Britain heading into World War One coming out as one of India's greatest modern scholars who broke more than one barrier in his worlds. This is a really interesting film strictly from with the story itself. Seeing what this man went through during this time in history and the boundaries he had to overcome to get his genius noticed is just crazy. Dev Patel is excellent here offering up a great performance and one that he seems to really be all in for. He has great chemistry with the always great Jeremy Irons both good and bad. As the story moves forward you can see the friendship and doors opening in both of their minds despite being from different worlds.
The setting is just as much of a part of the story as well with it playing up very much as a period piece as well. The looks of the people and formats to the way the colleges were run is interesting to watch and offers up another level to the story that deals with struggle, love, racism and so much more all wrapped in a bow that is math. If there was any issues it came more in the fact that some of the more important points in his findings seemed to be glossed over. When showing the information about everything they did I felt like there was a lot missing from the film and it felt overall incomplete. Despite this minor issue the film still works to offer up a story worth telling and yet another amazing feat of human persistence and spirit.