- Casting: Jishu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, Vidya Balan
- Director: Anu Menon
- Genre: Drama
- Producer: Sony Pictures Networks India, Vikram Malhotra
- Release: Jul 31, 2020
- Language: Hindi
Based on the life of ‘The Human Computer’ Ms. Shakuntala Devi, this film revolves around the challenges she faced in different phases of life, and the way she coped with her childhood, adolescence, motherhood and old-age.
Like many other biopics, this film suffers the lack of conflicts strong enough to keep the viewers engaged for 2 hours. Vidya Balan fits the part well. She brings in the much needed energy to this film which suffers mediocre writing. Her Hindi with a South Indian accent was impressive. Sanya Malhotra dominates Vidya Balan in some scenes with her terrific screen presence, especially as the teenage ‘Anu’. Amit Sadh, Jisshu Sengupta did their part well.
The cinematography was okayish. There isn’t much difference with the ‘look and feel’ of 1950s, 1960s and 1990s. The background score is good enough.
The editing is sloppy, so is the writing. The film shows Shakuntala Devi dealing with numbers, dominating computers, something everyone is already aware of. It doesn’t give us any insight into her philosophy behind Mathematics. This is a key factor which made the 2015 Ramanujan biopic ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ worth watching.
However, certain parts of the film were dealt quite well. Shakuntala Devi and Anu’s journey through motherhood, the parallels, and the follow-up scenes were interesting. The last 40 minutes save this film from sinking.
Shakuntala Devi is another biopic which could’ve been better off as a documentary. The main conflict doesn’t kick in for a long time and some threads are left incomplete. The mother-daughter relationship has been dealt quite well and is the only appealing point of this film.