May 10, 2016

"The Man Who Knew Infinity" Review - Jeremy Irons And Dev Patel


We seem to be getting an amazing amount of biopics lately. Some have been excellent.

Although many are not totally accurate they are still very enjoyable and if you find a character of interest to you then you have the internet which is a great tool for doing more research.

Like Dame Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons is no stranger to bio-pics.

He has been Rodrigo Borgia ,Claus Von Bulow and so many others in between,check out the list.
He is also in these movies: here and here

Is there anyone who didn't enjoy "Slum Dog Millionaire" with Dev Patel? I doubt it.

I agree with the writer: "The Bank" with David Wenham was a great movie too!

It is indeed a shame that many people who are amazing genii have had to suffer for it!
I am looking forward to this one!



As numbers matter a lot in The Man Who Knew Infinity, it’s worth noting this elegant film about Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan took 10 years to make it to the screen. But then 10 is a manageable number compared with those the uneducated, Madras-born Ramanujan loved, fought and conquered. 

His contribution to the field stands the test of time, almost 100 years since his premature death in 1920, aged just 32.

Mathematics is a mystery to many people, including me, yet filmmakers know its strangeness can enliven a character and carry a story.

Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting (1997), in which Ramanujan is mentioned in passing, is one well in the plus column, as is Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind (2001) and more recently the cryptology thriller The Imitation Game and Stephen Hawking bio-drama The Theory of Everything


I’m also fond of Robert Connolly’s The Bank (2001), in which David Wenham is a mathematician able to manipulate the stock market. So we perhaps don’t need to hear Bertrand Russell (jovially played by Jeremy Northam) at the outset of this film to bring us on board, but as it turns out the quote is a telling one: “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.”

The main story is Ramanujan’s five years at the University of Cambridge, where he works on and publishes his groundbreaking theories.

India is under British rule, World War I is around the corner and people high and low do not treat this man like a human being, let alone a genius. How dare he argue with British thinking? The racism is edgy and believable.

When still in Chennai, Ramanujan says to a friend, “The British think I am a raving lunatic”, the friend replies, “So do the Indians.” He leaves behind a nervous wife and a controlling mother.

Ramanujan is invited to Cambridge after writing letters to mathematics professor GH Hardy, an unusual, solitary don who mainly sticks to the rules but thinks the young man’s work may change the universe. Ramanujan is played by the earnest, endearing Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) and Hardy is superbly inhabited by Jeremy Irons, in one of his best performances.

The chemistry between the two is thrilling in a fractured way. Shy Hardy rarely looks anyone in the eye, yet he sees something in his protege that makes him feel more human. “I owe more to him than to anyone else in the world,” he says at one point. Never married, he also describes their working relationship as “the one romantic incident of my life”. 

 Irons brings superb fragility to this removed, resilient character, in a way that took me back to his younger time at the other university, Oxford, in the masterpiece television series Brideshead Revisited.

The story becomes an intellectual skirmish between Ramanujan and Hardy and the latter’s bloodier battle with the university hierarchy. Hardy has decent allies in Russell (‘‘Welcome to our little asylum,” is how he greets Ramanujan) and John Littlewood (Toby Jones).

I knew nothing about Ramanujan and will keep it that way here, as viewers who do not will find the plot riveting. It’s an old-fashioned English historical drama, and I say that with high praise. 

Written and directed by Matthew Brown, it’s based on a 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel. (Another book that may interest if you like this film is David Leavitt’s 2007 novel The Indian Clerk.) The script is intelligent and sharp, full of seriousness and humour. 

When Hardy advises that he is an atheist, Ramanjun replies, “You believe in God; you just don’t think he likes you.’’ I can’t say anything informed about the maths, but the fact two high-profile mathematicians, Manjul Bhargava and Ken Ono, are on board as executive producers means it probably adds up.

By Stephen Romei

With many thanks to The Australian

Benedict Cumberbatch And Eddie Redmayne: The Changing Face Of Hollywood 

Daniel Day-Lewis Receives A Knighthood

Burt Bacharach Brings Back The Hits: From Marlene Dietrich to Glastonbury 

He Named Me Malala - Review

How Sergio Leone’s Westerns Changed Cinema

Top 10 Movie Twists of All Time

 Oscar Winners 2016: The Full List

The Importance of Costume in Films: Some Iconic Images of our Culture

Some Like It Hot - Still!

25 Most Influential People In History By Attribute 

Joni Mitchell: Why She Blocked Taylor Swift For Biopic Role 

Tina Turner: What’s Age Got To Do With It? 

Sylvester Stallone: Not Feeling Old!

Hedy Lamarr - Beauty And Brains in Abundance

Charlie Chaplin: The Birth Of The Tramp

Carlos Gardel And The Tango In Movies 

"Rush" - An Under-rated Ron Howard Movie

Audrey Hepburn Quotes

The Best Movies of 2015

Biopics Now Focus On Key Moments Rather Than A Whole Life 

Cilla Black's Biography On TV  

How Groucho Marx Invented Modern Comedy

Marilyn Monroe: Fashioning The Myth And The Reality

A History Of Mick Jagger On Film

Gregory Peck: Hollywood Legend 

Florence Foster Jenkins: Meryl Streep's Latest Biopic

Citizen Kane: Orson Welles’s Masterpiece, As A 1941 NYT Critic Saw It

New Book: Mom In The Movies By Richard Corliss

The 100 Greatest American Films

Loving Vincent: The World's First Fully Painted Film

Happy Birthday Christopher Plummer! 87 Years Young!