SHAKUNTALA DEVI – Review by Mythily Ramachandran (Guest Post)
Narrated through the eyes of a daughter, director Anu Menon takes us on a journey that begins in Bangalore in 1934 where the little Shakuntala astounds her cousin with her mathematics acumen. The child prodigy becomes a money spinning machine for her family much against her wishes. When her elder sister Sharda- an invalid- dies for not receiving medical care, Shakuntala holds her parents responsible for Sharda’s death. Her resentment and anger towards them is fueled further.
Filmmaker Anu Menon explores an emotional story while tracing Shakuntala Devi’s (played by Vidya Balan) life revealing little known aspects of this number crunching genius. This mathematics wizard’s life is made up of many interesting moments. Independent and daring Devi lived life on her terms with a never say die attitude.
After firing a shot at her lover she leaves India and arrives in London in 1955 to make a new beginning in an era when Indian women seldom traveled alone. Her self-confidence is inspiring. In an alien country Devi with a smattering of English was determined to make a living out of mathematics shows. She visited institutions with her idea and despite rejections she walked into the building of the Royal Society of Mathematics to astonish a gathering of people with her command over numbers. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE.