The man who knew infinity is a British biographical drama film directed by Mathew Brown starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons in the lead roles. This movie is an adaption from the book ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ by Robert Kanigel. This movie mainly focuses on the journey of Srinivasa Ramanujan to Harvard University and his association with professor G.H.Hardy to publish his works.
The story commences with the scenes of Madras (Chennai) in the early 1900’s, showing a struggling young Ramanujan trying hard to find someone who would acknowledge and appreciate his mathematical works but unfortunately meets none. As he was already meddling in poverty, he concentrates on earning a decent job to afford the needs of his family and lands up at a clerical position. His desire to publish his works doesn’t let him sleep and he tests his luck by writing to renowned mathematicians across the globe. As the movie progresses, Ramanujan receives a reply from Professor Hardy and moves to the Cambridge University, UK after facing a lot many hardships within and out of family.
The rest of the story revolves around Ramanujan and his professor Hardy and their efforts to make Ramanujan’s dream come true. As a whole, the story qualifies to witness the friendship between two complete contrary personalities i.e Ramanujan, a young mathematician with unimaginably amazing skills in mathematics but born in a poor Tamil brahmin family in the colonial India, who always sees god in every mathematical equation and believes his intuition Vs G.H.Hardy, a renowned professor of the Cambridge University, who is a non-amiable practical-minded atheist and a true believer of proofs rather than intuition, god and destiny. But one commonality between the two men is their love towards Mathematics, though both of them are not very sociable, their love for math proves their chemistry as romantic.
Overall, the story successfully portrays Ramanujan’s real life characteristics as a devoted Brahmin who is dedicated to his belief towards god, interest towards nothing but Mathematics, adherence to religion and vegetarianism and his ill-health, which eventually led to his untimely death. Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons had most of the screen time and the duo justified their roles.
Distinguished mathematicians like Ken Ono and Manjul Bharghav were rolled into this project to make sure each and every equation that was referred in this movie are accurate and appropriate. Director Mathew Brown and the team deserves an appreciation for the 12 years of hard work involved in putting this movie together.
Mathew Brown mentions how hard it was to direct a couple of scenes in this movie – The scene which turns the emotional bond between Hardy and Ramanujan, which was shot inside the never-entertained campus of Trinity college, Cambridge. It was hard as it depended on the weather as it was not supposed to rain, while rains are very common and unavoidable.
Introduction to the word infinity came to me at an age of 10, through mathematics, the field which I loved and appreciated at every point there after. Afaik, Indians are quick with numbers and smart at Math. And our own country, never disappointed the world in producing the brightest of mathematicians, from the likes of Arya Bhatta to Sreenivasa Ramanujan and always took the pride in giving. This movie is a tribute to one such proud Kohinoor of India.