The duration of this film is 2 hours 7 minutes, in other words, it is 127 minutes which is 7620 seconds which is 7620000 milliseconds. You can calculate but I'm correct! Vidya kasam! This is the impact of the Shakuntala Devi biopic which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Vidya Balan, India's Human Happiness Jukebox, portrays the role of a Guinness World Record Holder and world-renowned Mathematician Shakuntala Devi. This is a biopic based on a true story seen through the eyes of her daughter Anupama Banerji.
The film starts in Bangalore, 1934, little Shakuntala's family discovers her super ability to process big numbers like it's no big deal. Her family then realises that she is no ordinary child and that she is indeed a genius. She can solve a math equation in a jiffy if Mysore Pak (dessert) is offered to her. Knowing her prowess in the subject, her father didn't enrol her to any school instead made her perform Math shows that were held in different schools. As time passed by, Shakuntala Devi becomes well-known. In this course, problems arise between her and her family and in 1955, she moves to London where Shakuntala Devi's journey of becoming a World-Famous Human-Computer begins. Interestingly, this story is not just about her with numbers, it is also about her relationship with her husband and daughter. The story puts the spotlight on what happens to her personal life and how the equations with her loved ones change while she was out conquering the world.
The first magnet of the film is Ariana Nand who plays little Shakuntala. The confidence in her eyes and her body language will make you go wow and will intrigue you about the journey ahead!
Someone in England said "An Indian woman in a saree and pigtails doing mathematical sums on stage is a joke!" but Vidya Balan in a tough role gets her Math right once again. She adds colour, verve and believability to the role of a woman who never went to school and yet is a genius. She multiples her magic with every scene with such ease. Shakuntala Devi is someone who lives her life to the fullest and I promise, you'll want to see Vidya in every frame. So much so that you may feel a sense of uneasiness when she doesn't feature in a scene. After watching her as a mother in this film, it is proven that she is a stellar performer. 'HOW? HOW DOES SHE DO IT?'
Although being aided by the genius Vidya Balan, director and co-writer Anu Menon's attention to detail in a story that encompasses a 70-year long journey proves the ability of a new age Indian filmmakers. The excellent usage of graphics made it palatable even for mathematics haters.
Co-writer Nayanika Mahtani and dialogue writer Ishika Moitra have brilliantly cooked up a happy storm with a fairly engaging screenplay and some amusing writing. The film doesn't really have a crescendo leading up to a grand climax but then not every film needs one, right? At times like these, the film leaves behind thoughts that enrich us. This one will for sure.
I have only ONE WORD for this film and that is BINGEWORTHY - Vidya Kasam. For Shakuntala Devi, I give, 4 out of 5 STARS
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