Shakunthala Devi Movie Review( 3.5/5) : Vidya Balan is simply amazing
In recent times, we have witnessed cinemagoers showing a lot of interest with the biopics and the latest one to the list is the movie based on the life of a lady who gained massive popularity worldwide with her extraordinary talent in solving complex mathematical problems
Born to a poor family in Bangalore, shakuntala( Vidya Balan) starts showing her exceptional talent of solving difficult problems right from her childhood which is noticed by many. Unfortunately, her father starts using her talent as a source of income, conducting maths based shows in various schools. With her childhood completely taken away from the genius, she is totally upset when her family fails to save her sister suffering from prolonged illness . Knowing her father very well, shankuntala is not able to digest her mother’s attitude of obediently listening to her husband and unable to voice her opinion even in crunch situations. After conducting several shows and gaining popularity, she moves to London where she is lucky to find a Spanish guy who guides and supports her. After getting instant recognition through her shows displaying her talent with the numbers, she starts touring various countries and her popularity hits all time high when she is able to enter the Guinness book of records after solving the complicated problem in record time. In addition, she is able to beat the computer calculations in terms of time duration taken to solve highly complex problem, rightly earns the title “Human Computer”. Apart from her accomplishments, there are lots of ups and downs in her personal life impacting her a lot. With her broken relationships, she thinks she has found a right person in life when she meets IAS officer Paritosh Banerji ( Jisshu Senguptha) but after giving birth to her daughter , relationship starts cracking as she demands both motherhood and her shows. Even her daughter is not happy with her constant travelling and changing homes. Despite Shakuntala devi trying her best to spend quality time with her daughther, Anu ( Sanya Malhotra) simply can’t take that baggage of the Human Computer’s daughter and things really gets worse when she is in love with Ajay and wants to settle down in life.
Why Anu upset with her mother, even goes to the extent of filing criminal case against her? How does her relationship with Anu drives her to rethink more maturely about her mother whom she is not willing to forgive ?
The movie basically speaks about the accomplishments of the “Human computer” and also common problems dealt by any talented women who has to find a perfect balance between their professional land personal lives. Directed by Anu Menon , this is a great effort bringing alive the genius who has been appreciated across the globe and many from the present generation not so familiar gets an opportunity to know about her special talent. The movie swings between Shankuntal devi’s popularity and her personal issues, especially with her husband and daughter. Although many of her achievements were clear, audience would have loved more to know about her capability in solving such complex problems, which simply could not be analysed by the great psychiatrists worldwide. However, Director scores heavily while demonstrating the mother-daughter relationship across the generations. The approach even plays mind games with the audience, if she is right in taking her daughter away from the caring father and after experiencing a lot in her childhood, she trying to treat her daughter in a similar manner. One really will feel for her while desperately wanting to take her daughter along and trying to give her level best despite her hectic shows . The most beautiful thing is the daughter who has a lot of complaints about her childhood actually starts analysing things in a more matured way and the realisation about her mother’s efforts to keep her happy which went unnoticed. The climax is quite good, but wished some unnecessary over the top melodrama could have been avoided. Even the handling of Parithosh Bannerji’s character is debatable who reacts in a cool manner after knowing about shakuntala devi’s book on Homosexuality based on him , that too decades ago ?
Vidya Balan is simply amazing especially while dealing with her daughter Anu and her complex , her performance takes a big leap . She is simply brilliant when her daughter after a big argument walks out of her house, there is whole lot of emotions, mainly helplessness taking centre stage .Her performance is highly entertaining while solving those tricky problems with a lot of humour, she makes us think about everything that a successful women has to go through in life . Sanya Malhotra does a commendable job portraying a role with a lot of complex, that expression not knowing to how to react when she is pregnant, and not so pleasant interactions with her mother this is truly a compelling performance. Jissu senguptha is first rate. Amith sadh is adorable