The Man Who Knew Infinity

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A Mrs. Salad pick, and it's not bad!

It is the "based on fact" story of the wonderful collaboration between mathematicians G. H. Hardy (played by Jeremy Irons) and Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Dev Patel). The as-is truth is pretty good: Ramanujan was largely self-taught in mathematics in India, and took to sending his research notes over to England for the recognition that was hard to come by locally. Hardy invited him to Trinity College, where they bumped noggins on all sorts of thorny problems. But Ramanujan grew ill, and moved back to India, and kicked the bucket shortly thereafter.

There are cameos from Bertrand Russell (Jeremy Northam) and John Littlewood (Toby Jones). World War I took place contemporaneously, and that horror is shown, as is the casual expected racism toward Ramanujan by ordinary folk and some of the Trinity faculty. The loneliness of Ramanujan's child bride in India and the posessiveness of his mother also play roles.

It's sort of by-the-numbers (heh) with very good acting. It's pretty brave to make a movie about mathematicians, I suppose. Once you go through John Nash, Alan Turing, and Ramanujan, … I can't think of a lot of stories ripe for moviemaking. Maybe Emmy Noether?