The story of a Braniac SHAKUNTALA DEVI: The Human Calculator

By Devanshi Raichura

Oh yes, when we say human computer we are talking about Shakuntala Devi. The trailer of much awaited biopic on Shakuntala Devi is out. Based on the life of Shakuntala Devi who is a well-known Mathematical genius and calculating progidy from India. After acting in jaw dropping movies like Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Guru, No One Killed Jesssica, The Dirty Picture, Kahani being my personal favourite movie, Vidya Balan keeps the never ending list on by acting in yet another movie like Shakuntala Devi.

The film is directed and written by Anu Menon and produced by Sony Pictures Network India. Along with Vidya Balan playing the lead role, Jisshu Senugupta, Sanya Malhotra are also to be seen. In the movie, Jisshu playing the role of Shakuntala’s husband as Paritosh Banerjee and Sanya playing the role of Shakuntala’s daughter as Anupama Banerjee shows the true story of how Shakuntala Devi struggled to balance motherhood with her own dreams and ambitions.

The film shooting was wrapped up back in November, 2019. It was set for theatrical release but due to Covid-19, lockdown and having no idea about when the theatres may reopen, the film is being released on Amazon Prime Original, an OTT platform. The trailer released on 15thof July, 2020, itself gave a nostalgic feeling to the audience of their school days, whether or not Shakuntala Devi visited a few schools or seminars, everybody knew her as a human calculator, the genius.

According to her, Math is full of magic and not rules! She claims it was her best friend too, she taught Math to the students in a way no one can resist learning, she could solve any given equation in fraction of seconds and always had the audience looking amazed and shocked at the same time. She is mentioned in the 1982 Guinness Book of World Records for multiplying two 13-digit numbers in just 28 seconds, which by the way is a time that includes how long it took her to say the 26-digit answer. Imagine being faced with number 6,16,29,875 and being asked to calculate its cubed root, without a calculator. Personally I would rather faint!

The genius was not only known as a mental calculator but also as an Indian writer. She wrote the book ‘The World of Homosexuals’. She wrote a number of books in her later years including novels as well as texts about mathematics, puzzles and astrology like, 'More Puzzles To Puzzle You', 'Super Memory: It Can Be Yours', 'Book Of Numbers', 'Astrology For You' and many more.

Coming back to the trailer, assuming the movie shows her journey from India to London, earning numerous achievements along the way, while she also struggles to balance her family with fame, and being a doting mother to her daughter. Anu, her daughter wanted her mother to be normal like other mothers to which Shakuntala replied with a quirk stating why should one be normal when one can be amazing. That’s the attitude which keeps me going!

By he trailer was full of dialogues which constantly made me laugh, the Tumhari Sulu actress Vidya Balan fits in every given role. Concentrating on every point the trailer/movie is trying to convey through Math, through her struggles in life and how she faced them all with the uproarious confidence giving a heads up to all, I am so fascinated by how Vidya Balan’s choice of selecting the films, always nailed all the roles she played.

The trailer hypes up the audience to watch the world premier movie releasing on 31st July, 2020 only on Amazon Prime Video.

Devanshi Raichura is doing her Bachelors is Mass Media from Mumbai.

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