Movie: – Shakuntala Devi
Director: – Anu Menon
Cast: – Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta, Amit Sadh
Overall Ratings: – 5/10
Shakuntala Devi release date on Amazon: 31st July 2020
After Gulabo Sitabo (Amazon Prime) and Dil Bechara (Hotstar) Bollywood movies, the digital streaming trend continues with ‘Shakuntala Devi’ movie, released on Amazon Prime. This movie is actually not a biopic but the journey of a genius mother from her daughter’s eyes.
Shakuntala Devi is a genius mathematician, holds a place in ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ & popularly familiar as ‘The Human Computer’; but as a mother, as a wife, as a person how she is- here director Anu Menon tried to unfold that from the point of view of another woman, her daughter.
Shakuntala devi review:
The story starts from a low-middle class family in Bangalore where we can see how little Shakuntala is growing up. With her father she is performing math-magic in ‘Math-Shows’ in various colleges, universities; computing hard to harder calculations in seconds and letting viewers dumbfound, spellbound. She is not only achieving claps & fame but earning money also. She grows up and the things continued; spreading all around the world. Her extra-ordinary skill & confidence has endowed with more money, more fame & more ambition. Love comes to her life; hence marriage & daughter. And conflict with the daughter also. From this point, the focus shifted to that & continues till the end. The journey of ‘Human Computer’ Sakuntala Devi (once who proved the machine computer wrong) just become an ambitious mother-deprived daughter ego conflict drama.
The creative liberty taken by director will confuse viewers that what is actual & what is just for the sake of drama. The ‘human’ part of the human computer, portrayed in screen in such a way where viewers find her a self-centred, highly ambitious woman. Her flamboyant presentation of math -shows in typical Indian attire makes the scenes loudly melodramatic. Dialogue writer Ishita Moitra & writer Nayanika Mahtani creates the comic situations, mostly dialogues, in a very louder way. The way of English spoken in 60’s/70’s presented there in dialogues in desolated way.
Sanya Malhotra, portrayed her character ‘Anupama’ very genuinely especially in conflict scenes where the character gets vulnerable. Jisshu Sengupta & Amit Sadh played their character reliably with proper screen presence. And above all Vidya Balan, is her movie; as usual, a fine actor like her depicted the character with all the shades appreciably but it is not up to her as the character has been written in such a melodramatic way.
Actually, the all-women brigade of director Anu Menon, writer Nayanika Mahanti , Ishita Moitra & editor Antara Lahiri put the script & screenplay very melodramatically in a typical Bollywood way. Every scene is coming with a statement hidden. The making is like ‘Twelve Stages of the Hero’ a fairy tale type. On homosexuality, a book (The World of Homosexuals) was written by Shakuntala Devi is also mentioned here but without context. In 1987 Shakuntala Devi was the patron of The Institute of Indian Astrology and there are some controversies in her approach & statements regarding astrology. As the script is in typical larger than lifestyle hence all the grey controversial slip-ups have not been touched. Although Shakuntala Devi & her genius is in pubic after all these years, that is also a good thing.