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The Man Who Knew Infinity: Maths movie doesn't add up

DVD Review

By Damon Smith

Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a 25-year-old shipping clerk in 1914 Madras who dreams about formulae, which he scribbles in chalk on temple floors.

With the blessing of his boss, Sir Francis Spring (Stephen Fry), Ramanujan bids a tearful farewell to his new wife and travels to Cambridge to nurture his gift under revered academic GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons).

While Ramanujan encounters jealousy from students and masters a few scholars, such as John Edensor Littlewood (Toby Jones), encourage him. Adapted from Robert Kanigel's 1991 biography, The Man Who Knew Infinity is a handsome dramatisation of the real life Indian mathematician.

Sadly, Matthew Brown's film fails to make clear how the lead character was instrumental in ploughing new cerebral furrows during his time in Cambridge.

Only once does the script invest time in illuminating the daunting challenge in layman's terms.

Three stars

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