Shakuntala Devi Review: Vidya Balan Throws Feminist Vibes With Some Original Sight

Shakuntala Devi Review
Shakuntala Devi Review

Shakuntala Devi is Vidya Balan’s family entertainer at heart

Director Anu Menon presents 2020 Indian Hindi-language biographical drama film “Shakuntala Devi”, which is produced by Sony Pictures Networks India and Vikram Malhotra under banner Abundantia Entertainment. The film stars Vidya Balan in the lead role of Shakuntala Devi, who was also known as the “human computer”. The movies tell about the life of Shakuntala, from her childhood, she was clear of what she wants from life.

At a very young age, she started earning for the family by doing math shows all around her village. In her later years, Devi wrote a number of books. She wrote the book “The World Of Homosexuals”, which is considered as the first study of homosexuality in India. Apart from this her writing includes novels as well as texts about mathematics, puzzles, and astrology.

The film was scheduled to be theatrically released in India on 8 May 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was streamed worldwide on 31 July 2020 on Prime Video.

Director: Anu Menon

Genre: Hindi-Language Biographical Drama

In Theatres: 31 July 2020

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Studio: Abundantia Entertainment, Sony Pictures Networks India

Starring: Vidya Balan, Luca Calvani, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Shakuntala Devi Review
Shakuntala Devi Review

Shakuntala Devi Movie Review

Wrapped with drama and Kanjeevarams the biopic is all about a genius Indian Mathematician, a mother and a celebrity Shakuntala Devi. Sanya Malhotra plays the role of Anu Banerjee, Shakuntala Devi’s daughter, who narrates the story in flashback. The first hour of the film keeps you engaged with a fun of 1950s London. Overcoming her odds, Shakuntala Devi with the help of her Spanish friend Javier (Luca Calvani) brushes up herself and transforms to bring out her vivacious nature.  While in the second half we witness the lead lady’s love in the form of Paritosh Banerji (Jisshu Sengupta) from Calcutta. They got married and had a baby Anu (Sanya Malhotra). But life again changes when she is compelled to make some difficult choices.

The movie sees Shakuntala Devi, winning several maths awards and also  holds many world records for solving numeric problems. Vidya Balan is charming and vibrant, and holds the narrative together. Her south Indian accent, ‘Am I correct? Steals our heart. Sanya Malhotra also plays her part well. The supporting cast of Luca Calvani, Jisshu Sengupta and Amit Sadh does a good job. Despite brief roles, their screen presence makes an impact on the story. The thing missing in Shakuntala Devi is how did she prepare for the Guinness Record? What did she read, when did she practice, how did she teach herself calendar tricks, these things needed a little more study.

Sanya Malhotra in Shakuntata Devi
Sanya Malhotra in Shakuntata Devi

Shakuntala Devi authored several books unfortunately the film does not throw any light on this. The list of her books included at least half a dozen calculations, mathematical puzzles, and grooming children in mathematical skills, but the movie failed to mention these.

Overall Shakuntala Devi the movie plays a lot with time, jumping between the past and present. It is indeed a happy and enjoyable film that you’ll love to watch with your family.

Amit Sadh in Shakuntata Devi
Amit Sadh in Shakuntata Devi
Jisshu U Sengupta in Shakuntata Devi
Jisshu U Sengupta in Shakuntata Devi
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