Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi

Watch Shakuntala Devi on Netflix India

Starring: Vidya Balan
Director: Anu Menon
India release date: July 31, 2020
Genre: drama
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours, 7 mins

 

“Vidya brings a full-bodied feistiness to Shakuntala… What the film leaves you with are some meaningful questions. About career, parenting, ambition, and why we judge women more harshly than men when it comes to their outlook on these matters.”

Rating: 2.5 stars | Full review

Rajeev Masand, News 18
Rajeev Masand
“Can a biopic about a singular woman who stormed the male bastion of mathematics stay out of her domestic affairs? Shakuntala Devi goes further than most films in providing a layered portrait of its subject. It’s a pity that the movie eventually abandons this pursuit in favour of sentimentality and family drama.”

| Full review

Nandini Ramnath, Scroll
Nandini Ramnath

 

“The film gently derides the perception of being “normal”, and how that pursuit is futile. But time and again, it comes back to its main curiosity: the desperation of people balancing parenthood and stratospheric fame. Math can sometimes be as cruel as life: the multiplication of a negative and a positive number (no matter how big) is always negative. Shakuntala knew all the mathematical tricks, but for her daughter, she remained chalk on the blackboard.”

| Full review

Tanul Thakur, The Wire
Tanul Thakur
Shakuntala Devi‘s flamboyance overshadows nuance… Scenes of introspection wherein the film-maker gently identifies the pattern of children subconsciously becoming the parent they so didn’t want to be are telling.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Sukanya Verma, Rediff
Sukanya Verma

 

“Presents a buoyant, inspiring portrait of a woman who lived life on her own terms, often came close to paying a price for it but never allowed herself to wonder if the choices she made in life were erroneous.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Saibal Chatterjee
“My problem is not so much with the familial framing, but with the fact that it ends up dominating the story. As the film progresses, the frame gets tighter, simplistic, and Shakuntala Devi’s playground shrinks. Biopics of men also often venture into the personal, but they are not contained within that one narrative, one point of view. There are more voices, more points of view.”

Rating: 2.5  stars | Full review

Suparna Sharma, The Asian Age
Suparna Sharma

 

“That Shakuntala was never going to toe any line, or be any kind of ‘normal’ woman, is the line the movie takes, and does well by… Balan owns the material that she is given, course-correcting every time she tends to slip into being mannered.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express
Shubhra Gupta
“You can tell this is a movie re-written/re-imagined, if not smartly rescued, at the editing stage.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Mayank Shekhar, Mid Day
Mayank Shekhar

 

“Makes you want to know more about Devi, after seeing her in all her larger-than-life splendour, but the desire, ultimately, is more to do with what the film leaves out, rather than what it opts to include.”

| Full review

Kennith Rosario, The Hindu
Kennith Rosario
“The screenplay jumps back and forth in time distractingly, muddying rather than clarifying the emotional journeys… Shakuntala Devi does allow its protagonist room to be selfish and shallow along with kooky and brilliant, but all the deep-seated emotional trauma is handled in a manner that’s hurried and facile.”

| Full review

Uday Bhatia, Live Mint
Uday Bhatia

 

“Most of my maths teachers were women, yet there was not one mention – even in passing – of Shakuntala Devi. Maybe it’s because she showed them what was possible, and by extension, what they settled for. Maybe it’s because she was perceived as more of a “showstopper” than an archetypical academic: charismatic, progressive, unapologetic…and female.”

| Full review

Rahul Desai, Film Companion
Rahul Desai

 

 

Shakuntala Devi on IMDB

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