Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Man Who Knew Infinity

There's always a complicated matter in biopics about some of the greatest minds that ever lived. On the one hand, you want them to be accessible to the masses. But on the other hand, you don't want their achievements to be dumbed down just so the film could be enjoyed more. It's a difficult balance.

Some focus more on the genius' personal life (The Theory of Everything) while others alter details of said personal life (A Beautiful Mind, The Imitation Game). So where does Matthew Brown's The Man Who Knew Infinity fall under? Well, it focuses more on the achievements (which is probably a first in God knows how long).

The subject of The Man Who Knew Infinity is Srinivasa Ramanujan (played here by Dev Patel), who created and rediscovered many mathematical theorems. Indeed, he's not as well known as the likes of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein but he should be amongst their ranks. After all, what he discovered nearly a hundred years ago helped us understand the universe more.

But as is frequently the case with biopics, The Man Who Knew Infinity falls short. It doesn't pick up until the third act, and the script feels sluggish in spots. Still, the work from Patel and Jeremy Irons makes up for the script's faults. (Not by much but they do.)

The Man Who Knew Infinity is an average film about an extraordinary person. In more capable hands this probably would've rivaled the other genius biopics out there. Alas, all we can do is imagine what such a project would've been like.

My Rating: ***1/2

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