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‘Shakuntala Devi’ Movie Review: This Vidya Balan starrer perfectly embraces the life of math wiz which was full of ‘drama or nothing’
Sony Pictures Networks India, Vikram Malhotra
Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About
The movie is based on the life of the renowned mathematician Shakuntala Devi. The movie traces Shakuntala’s life right from her childhood all the way to her becoming a grandmother. Shakuntala loves maths but while the world is celebrating her genius, she is also being asked to fit into a box and set her priorities as expected by society. With such boundless enthusiasm and passion for maths will Shakuntala let herself be chained forms the rest of the plot.
The movie is a celebration of a woman named Shakuntala Devi who lived her life to the fullest and had her best friend and companion- mathematics to her company. Shakuntala loved maths and wanted the world to love it too. Vidya Balan has played the character perfectly to the T. She has embraced the character of Shakuntala and filled every frame with her infectious energy. The plot gets tricky when you begin to get a distasteful feeling for Devi’s actions of abandoning her daughter and then her husband (Jisshu Sengupta), but that is where you begin to feel the reality of how human Shakuntala was in a world that looked at her through the lens of perfection. While Vidya played the character of a real-life person you could see her own vibe coming through which I absolutely loved.
Sanya Malhotra, who played the character of Shakuntala’s daughter Anupama, showed a wonderful transition from a teenager to a mother trying to balance life. Sanya and Vidya’s combination as a mother-daughter duo who are struggling to love and be loved was heart touching. The two of them together manage to make you weep and laugh out loud at the same time.
Anu Menon’s direction was spot on and with such a wonderful cast ‘Shakuntala Devi’ is an absolute delight. Cinematography is applaud-worthy as every frame caught the different eras from the 1930s to the 2000s very beautifully.
The background score of the movie and the music is also commendable as for a personal preference it wasn’t a hindrance to such a delightful watch at all. The song ‘Ma Paheli’ will remind you of your mother and love and respect her even more.
A little more focus on Shakuntala’s astrological and political career would have added some more depth to this beautiful movie, but that is just personal preference. Anupama’s relationship with her father could have dwelled upon a little more.
While ‘Shakuntala Devi’ is a celebration of a world-class mathematician, it is also the depiction of a mother in a world that has forgotten she is also a woman. Apart from taking care of a family, she has a life that she needs and wants to live on her own term. ‘Shakuntala Devi’ reminds you that as a woman it is not wrong to put yourself first and want only the best in life. The film is a beautiful portrayal of a perfectly imperfect mother-daughter duo. I will go with 3.5 stars.
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