Sunday, August 2, 2020

Genius of Vidya Balan shines in Shakuntala Devi : Movie Review

Genius of Vidya Balan shine in Shakuntala Devi : Movie Review, Shakuntala Devi film review, movie review, Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Movie and film

Cast :                   Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta
Director :               Anu Menon
Genres :                Drama
Subtitle:                 English
Audio Language :  Hindi
Rating :                 3.5 ⭐

Playing a genius mathematician, astrologer who is considered a Human Computer by the world was a challenging task but Vidya has done it with the touch of a maverick. Although at some places one can see the influences of her earlier characters from Dirty Picture and Tumhari Sulu on the role but one cannot deny her indomitable presence throughout the film. She outshines everyone with her expressions and timely puns which was an aspect of Shakuntala Devi's character. 

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While dealing with a biography that too of a person related to science is always a challenging task but the director, Anu Menon, manages to touch all the aspects of the renowned mathematician. The focus she chooses was the mother-daughter relationship between Shakuntala Devi and her daughter Anu (played by Sanya Malhotra). One can see that the protagonist is trying to reconcile with her past which the story shows is the prominent aspect in the life of Shakuntala Devi. 

The film focusses on the journey of the mathematician from a child prodigy, mathematician, astrologer and a short stint of being a politician to the multi-millionaire showperson. The film also revolves around the choices made by Shakuntala Devi whether to abandon her home and leave India or choosing a life partner or writing a book on homosexuality or deciding one-sidedly what is important for her own life and her daughter.

The sole decision making raises the tussle in the film which even reaches to the court to settle the dispute between the mother and the daughter. The audience can see how dramatically the director has put all the elements to portray the beautiful mother-daughter relationship. But the endearing element of the film is the character of Shakuntala Devi herself. The strong figure which she was with a heart of a human is underlined here. It is this reconciliation which takes her from India to abroad and then coming back and connecting with her family. 

It is a must watch for all who has an interest in science and want to know about this Wonder Woman, Shakuntala Devi and her life. The lady herself was the spirit of a strong feminist in those days. Present generation can watch and reflect about the choices made by the Human Computer. Film enthusiasts should go through the story telling techniques and how to deal with emotions. 

Overall the film is emotionally enriching and the story has been neatly woven to connect with the audience. Sanya Malhotra and Jissu Sengupta (playing Shakuntala Devi's husband) were reasonably strong on sharing the screen with Vidya Balan. Sanya adds freshness to the screen while Jissu adding the taste of an old wine. They put through the film forward. Amit Sadh was also recognisable. Watch this film if you love science and science stories or if you want to know about Shakuntala Devi, or you are a die hard fan of Sanya and Jissu and above all watch it for Vidya who added one more feather in her acting stint. Truly the story of Devi as the Human Computer is referred to in the world resonates with Vidya's charm.

Author: Sudarshan Yadav 

He is an academician, teaches film studies and science communication. Film enthusiast and theoretician. He has numerous academic publications related to cinema.

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