Saturday, August 1, 2020

SHAKUNTALA DEVI (2020)

Motherhood Melo-Drama

My VR Critique Meter: ⭐


  • Released Date: 31st Jul 2020
  • Genre: Drama.
  • Runtime: 127mins
  • Language: Hindi
  • Subtitle: Yes, English
  • Streamed Portal: Amazon Prime Video


To all unknown, Shakuntala Devi was an Indian writer and mental calculator, popularly known as the "Human-Computer". Devi strove to simplify mathematics for students. Her talent earned her a place in 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records. However, the certificate for the record was given posthumously on 30 July 2020, despite Devi achieving her world record on 18 June 1980 at Imperial College, London. Devi was a precocious child and she demonstrated her arithmetic abilities at the University of Mysore without any formal education. Devi wrote a number of books in her later years, including novels as well as texts about mathematics, puzzles, and astrology. She wrote the book “The World Of Homosexuals”, which is considered the first study of homosexuality in India. She saw homosexuality in a positive light and is considered a pioneer in the field.

Real Shakuntala Devi with her Daughter Anupama.

 

Coming to the premiere, Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi: She doesn’t age, Gorgeous looking is still ON and her transformation from young to old was outstanding. The flick is premiered on Prime video as a world premiere on 31st July 2020. The story is all about the life of Shakuntala Devi. The film goes back and forth between present and past, with Shakuntala Devi’s daughter Anu (Sanya Malhotra) narration. We see a young Shakuntala Devi, whose parents forget that she’s a child and not just a genius. She is made to do shows to showcase her talents, from which she earns money and gets her family going.  Her sister's death, made annoyed with her upbringing, especially of her mother, and decides to be everything that is not her. And from there starts the journey of the genius, who wins people’s hearts with her mathematical calculations and entertaining comebacks alike.


The pre-intermission portrays her early life, her journey of becoming a mathematical genius “Human-Computer”. Post intermission of the film focuses more on the personal life of Devi, from her marriage to her daughter Anu’s marriage. We get to see her as a wife and a mother, and this is where the film strikes a chord. The scene of her interview with BBC was very confident, she boldly says “I am never wrong; the computer is wrong”. But when the film shifts its pace to focus on how Devi handles her relationships, we finally see the human heart hidden behind the personality.

 

 

Shakuntala Devi, focuses on mother and daughter life. Dream of a mother on her daughter’s life and her career. Does a mother abolish her own blooded daughter’s career in a swish? How a daughter, finds love on her mother when she becomes a mother ? – This applies for both Shakuntala Devi and Anupama (Devi’s daughter). The movie explains these existential questions with excitement and interest. It takes to a new level for every woman who is determined to conquer the world. And the climax, we realize that the movie has lived up to its statement of not being a biopic. Because it has gone ahead and done more: it has strived to become a rhyme to motherhood.

 

The flick rushes through certain frames of Shakuntala Devi’s life which is dramatic at few and missed to impress to hold us on the screen. In spite of the above, it is a story of an untold genius through her own daughter narration. It is all about women and motherhood. Overall, the movie is full to watch with timing humor, Vidya Balan’s wonderful frenetic acting which holds the movie from start to the end.

 

My VR Critique Meter: ⭐

  • Interesting Meter:  ½
  • Engaging Meter:
  • Visualization:
  • Acting & Casting: ½
  • Music and Background Score:

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