Vidya Balan’s vibrant performance hooks you to Shakuntala Devi, despite melodramatic script

Shakuntala Devi

I had been excited about the story of the human supercomputer since the time I heard about its release. The entire excitement behind it was valid I believe because when Vidya Balan is behind a performance, anyone does give the movie a much-deserved shot.

So it began, the never before descriptive mention of the Indian human calculator. Since the beginning, Shakuntala Devi is gifted like no one else. Soon after her gift is discovered, she becomes the talk of the town and also the bread earner of the house through the shows.

Shakuntala Devi

While the movie has shown that Shakuntala’s relationship with her parents goes sour after her handicapped sister passes away and the parents are unable to save her because of the lack of money, but it failed to deliver too much on the reason why it went sour.

Her transition from Bangalore to London has been an interesting one, and some scenes will make you laugh, especially the one where she tells a group of men in London that she shot a man’s ear off back in Bangalore.

Her relationship with her mentor Javier has been beautifully depicted and there’s little you could complain about there.

Shakuntala Devi

Her relationship with her husband initially is as beautiful as it can, who she leaves everything for to live with in Calcutta. While it did seem like the life of a wife and then a mother would be enough for her, she wanted to do more, to which her husband, Paritosh did support her and was ready to take care of their daughter Anu for her. (Something which isn’t common even today).

She missed out on the firsts of her daughter, and to make up for that, asked her husband to travel with her, on refusal, she decided to take her daughter along with her against her will.

What I saw was that Shakuntala Devi wanted it all, and in the want to have it all, she had a strained relationship with her own daughter.

Shakuntala Devi

My only problem with it was the melodramatic script in oarts of the movie, which was a tad bit overdone. 20 minutes less of it would have still served the purpose, at least the second half of it.

In fact, had it not been for Vidya Balan, the movie wouldn’t be what it was. The script is loose by the end, and there are flaws that you cannot hide. If you’re a Vidya Balan fan, you’ll come out a happy person, however, if you’re expecting a full-fledged mathematics biopic, you may be disappointed as the only thing you may see is her maths shows which are so consecutively shown, that you may get a headache.

The other cast members have also acted well, but the one who will take your breath away is Vidya Balan’s loud and unapologetic, yet vibrant portrayal of Shakuntala Devi.

Shakuntala Devi

Star Cast: Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi, Spandan Chaturvedi as teenage Shakuntala, Araina Nand as child Shakuntala, Jisshu Sengupta as Paritosh Banerji, Sanya Malhotra as Anupama Banerji, Chahat Tewani as young Anupama, Amit Sadh as Ajay Abhaya Kumar