PLOT: The extraordinary story of Shakuntala Devi, the world-renowned mathematician who lived her life on her own terms. While the film pays tribute to her genius as a mathematician, it also humanizes her as a woman and mother, in trying to capture her indomitable spirit. Told through the lens of her relationship with her daughter Anu, the film highlights their very different struggles and aspirations.
Shakuntala Devi is a Hindi-language biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by Anu Menon and produced by Sony Pictures Networks India & Vikram Malhotra under his banner Abundantia Entertainment. Principal photography began on 16th September 2019 and was wrapped up on 20th November 2019. The film was scheduled for theatrical release in India on 8th May 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film will not be released theatrically and stream worldwide on 31st July 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.
Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi
Jisshu Sengupta as Paritosh Banerji, Shakuntala’s husband
Sanya Malhotra as Anupama Banerji, Shakuntala’s daughter
Amit Sadh as Ajay, Anupama’s husband
Prakash Belawadi as Shakuntala’s father
Movie Review: Vidya Balan is outstanding and she nailed it again. She brilliantly played the role of a mathematical genius woman who is torn between maths and her motherhood. Sanya Malhotra also delivered a good performance. Amit Sadh and the rest of the supporting cast are just fine. Jisshu Sengupta, Sheeba Chaddha, and Prakash Belawadi get no scope here.
Director Anu Menon gets the essence right, she also focuses on the lesser-known aspects of Shakuntala Devi’s private life. The mother-daughter relationship has been dealt with quite well in the second half of the film.
But some crucial questions in the film are unanswered. She had political ambitions too and she stood for elections and fought Indira Gandhi in Medak in part of Telangana (presently) for a Lok Sabha seat, this was shown in just 5 minutes scene.
There was no much focus on her relationship with her husband and why she wrote a book on homosexuality. In 1977, she wrote The World of Homosexuals, the first study of homosexuality in India, for which she was criticized.
In addition to her work as a mental calculator, Devi was a notable astrologer and author of several books, including cookbooks and novels. More light on these intriguing aspects would have made this film a remarkable biopic.
Shakuntala Devi Movie Rating:
Overall Hit ya Flop Rating: 3.3 out of 5 Stars (Good)