In a world where women are still trying to make an equal place in our society, where they still have to think more than twice before keeping anything else as their priority other than their family or kids or home rituals, Shakuntala Devi is just one of those women who never stopped believing in herself and her exceptional mathematical skills. She rose gracefully towards all the challenges that life had to offer and made her mark in the world’s history.

She confounded, confused, fascinated, and ultimately wowed successive generations all over the world, during the period of the 1960s to 1990s. An unlikely diva, a mathematician, female to boot, yet a true blue celebrity, wined and dined by the heads of states as well as people from the world of glamour.

A still from movie shakuntala devi

Shakuntala Devi, the movie, explores all these facets and more. To most of us millennials, she is an unknown so we get to know her well via this flick, but I dare say even her generation would not know about her bohemian lifestyle, her sheer independent spirit, her grit, her love for the high life and for all the good things and her selfishness.

And When you have no less than Vidya Balan playing you, you are in good hands. Madam Balan moves easily from being a svelte youngster to a beefed-up, quite literally so, maturer version. There are her usual moments of brilliance as she can bring up the various shades of the character with finesse. She does not let you know she is only acting, she is Shakuntala Devi. Her uproarious laughter, her instant, biting repartee, her absolute disregard for the social niceties, are all brought out brilliantly. The writer and the director too deserve kudos, for being true to the story, even if there must have been some poetic liberties taken. They all add to the flavor, we are watching a movie, not a documentary.

It’s a mother-daughter tale. Shakuntala, her mother, and then her daughter; does tug at your heartstrings more than once. However, the climax does sag a bit. From the first scene that is used to hook you in, to the climax, you would have many moments to smile, admire, gasp, envy and even guffaw.

A still from the movie shakuntala devi

The human-computer is worth the money and time you would spend on it.

So, to all the beautiful and amazing women out there, make sure you engrave the following words in your mind “Why should I be normal if I can be amazing?” and never stop looking for the true meaning of this.

P. S. Something more to whet your appetite. If you want to find out how she was able to not only master the subject you hated so much but even milked it to make millions, well the movie tells you the results of research done on her, somewhere. Go find out!

The movie, Shakuntala Devi is available on Amazon Prime! 

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Happy Reading! ❤️

Purvi Wadhwa

Written by

Purvi Wadhwa

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