Movie: Shakuntala Devi
Director: Anu Menon
Behind the Scenes:
Corona Crisis has turned world topsy-turvy for Cinema. We have seen films skipping their theatrical release and releasing directly online. But Bollywood is still waiting for its first hit on the OTT sphere. After a spate of disappointments, all eyes are on Vidya Balan starer Shakuntala Devi, the Biopic of Human-Computer, Shakuntala Devi. Let us see how the movie which released on Amazon Prime Video connects with the audience.
Shakuntala Devi is the story of Mathematical Legend, Shakuntala Devi (Vidya Balan) from the eyes of her daughter, Anupama Banerjee (Sanya Malhotra). Shakuntala Devi is a gifted mathematical genius. It all starts with her father making participate in maths shows to make easy money. But she later takes up her love to numbers to the next level and tours across the globe. While this happens, she develops hatred towards her own parents, and later in life, her own daughter develops the same feeling for her mother. What happens in their lives for the rest of the story.
Vidya Balan has delivered a path-breaking performance. She is effortless and natural in humorous as well as the emotional sequences. She adds beauty to the role and the Biopic of the Legend. Vidya Balan is definitely one of the finest actors in Indian Cinema. She is likely to bag quite a few awards next year. Jishu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, and Amit Sadh have done justice for whatever is expected of them.
Anu Menon intelligently did not bore the Biopic with full of numbers and wove the emotions perfectly to create the necessary lows and hights. The screenplay, however, gets a tad slow, particularly in the second half. And, some scenes get repeated as well.
The various timelines in the movie are portrayed well with apt styling and artwork. Karan Kulkarni’s background score is apt. Some songs are decent but appear likely speed breakers at places. The editing should have been better in the second half. The Production Values are top-notch.
A Biopic of a mathematician should be full of numbers but the director Anu Menon and her writers wisely chose an emotional angle by opting for the story of the mother and daughter. The initial parts of the film, the rise of Shakuntala Devi until her marriage are a delight and are a celebration of the Legend. The movie becomes a tad slow as the director showcased the hero (Shakuntala Devi) in a negative light for quite a long time. But the emotional climax makes up to that. Finally, Shakuntala Devi is a decent tribute to the Legend. Watch it!
Shakuntala Devi: Largely Satisfying Tribute
Starring: Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra and Others
Written and Directed by Anu Menon
Produced by Sony Pictures Networks India, Vikram Malhotra
Music by Sachin–Jigar, Karan Kulkarni (BGM)
Release Date: July 31st, 2020 (Direct Online Release on Amazon Prime Video)