688. The Man Who Knew Infinity

688-the-man-who-knew-infinityBackground info

Title: The Man Who Knew Infinity
Director: Matt Brown
Year: 2015
Run time: 1hr 48m

“The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of a genius (Dev Patel) whose theories propelled him from obscurity into a world in the midst of war, and how he fought tirelessly to show the world the magic of his mind. Colonial India, 1913. Srinivasa Ramanujan is a 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, Ramanujan writes a letter to G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), a British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hardy recognizes the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s talent and despite the skepticism of his colleagues, undertakes bringing him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored. Ramanujan leaves his family, his community, and his bride, Janaki (Devika Bhise), to travel to England. There, he finds understanding and a deep connection with his sophisticated and eccentric mentor.”

Live blog

1:51 – Jeremy Irons has such a good narration voice.
3:02 – Good to know it doesn’t just rain in the UK!
5:53 – “I really am quite exceptional with numbers.” Confident.
10:36 – I like the question “what does it do” rather than “what does it mean”, it’s just more active.
16:55 – Some kind of early form of squash? It looks much calmer than modern squash.
19:59 – No one will talk to you because you got on a boat? Harsh.
24:50 – Trinity College is beautiful, how does anything get done?
25:58 – “Change, gentlemen. It’s a wonderful thing, embrace it.”
27:38 – I never thought paper was something I shuoldn’t take for granted, but there you go!
36:30 – ARGH, why don’t schools encourage clever people instead of beat them down? ARGH!
47:15 – The grass is more precious than Wimbledon!
48:28 – “No sir, you believe in God, you just don’t think he likes you.”
57:24 – Love that Littlewood is the butt of jokes and doesn’t care at all.
1:08:50 – “Enter at your own risk.” I’m going to start answering knocks at the door like that.
1:13:49 – Zeplins are very scary!
1:24:14 – Get kicked out of Cambridge, just head down the road to Oxford.

Conclusions

Along the same lines as The Imitation Game, this film tells the story of a misunderstood and maligned genius who has a lot to give the world but has to push through a lot of rubbish to get in a position to do so.

Dev Patel does a great job with the impatience and frustration of someone who just wants to get his work out there, and I really enjoyed Jeremy Irons awkward but not bumbling characterisation. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of either of these guys, they seem so crucial.

It was hard to watch parts of it, people can be so cruel to each other, but ultimately it’s an important story worth telling, and absolutely worth watching.

Rating: 5/5.

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