OTT Movie Review: Shakuntala Devi – A well-made biopic.!

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Movie Shakuntala Devi
Star Cast Vidya Balan, Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra
Director Anu Menon
Producer Sony Pictures Networks India - Vikram Malhotra
Music Sachin–Jigar and Karan Kulkarni
Run Time 2hrs 07mins
Release 31st July. 2020

Shakuntala Devi, starring Vidya Balan in the titular role is a biographical drama based on the life journey of a world renowned mathematician with the same name. The film skipped theatrical release and is out on Amazon Prime now. Scroll down to see our review of the film.

Story:

The film opens with Anupama Banerjee(Sanya Malhotra) filing a police complaint against her mother Shakuntala Devi (Vidya Balan). Cut to Shakuntala’s childhood episode, her parents notice that she is exceptionally good at mathematics at the age of 3. Shakuntala’s father makes her participate in mathematics shows in order to make some easy money. However, the tragic and untimely demise of Shakuntala Devi’s sister leaves her depressed and she develops hatred towards her parents and leaves to London. Soon after, she attains the nickname of ‘Human Computer’ and garners wide attention.

After giving birth to a daughter, Shakuntala Devi tries to run her ambitions on her daughter and this leads to an emotional clash between them. The rest of the story unveils why a human genius, Shakuntala Devi’s daughter filed a criminal case on her and the ups and downs she faced in her life.

How about on-screen performances?

Each and every actor in the film performed extremely well. Especially, the female lead, Vidya Balan gave a standout performance. She breathed life into Shakuntala Devi character with her sublime performance. She excelled in emotional episodes towards the end of the film and leaves the viewer moist eyed. It is only fair to say that Vidya Balan is one of the finest actors in Indian cinema.

Sanya Malhotra as a strong-natured daughter to world renowned mathematician did a good job. The chemistry between Sanya Malhotra and Vidya Balan is sparkling. Jishnu Sen Gupta and Amit Sadh are pretty decent in their respective roles.

How about off-screen talents?

Anu Menon has a clear vision of what she wants to convey with the film. She keeps the soul of the biographical drama intact by balancing all the necessary emotions. However, the screenplay is a tad slow-paced and one might feel that certain sequences are stretched out. But Anu manages to get things back on track by handling the emotional climax with great maturity. The film ends on the right note.

The variations between two different timelines (1940’s and 2001) have been presented well, thanks to some impressive work by the costumes and art direction department. Karan Kulkarni’s background score is apt.

What’s hot?

Vidya Balan’s splendid performance
Emotional climax
Fun generated through mathematics
Technical values
Sanya Malhotra’s impressive performance

What’s not?

Repetitive sequences
Patchy screenplay
Pre-climax

Verdict:

Shakuntala Devi is a well-made biopic with stellar performances from the lead cast and highly impressive technical values. Anu Menon gets the emotional connection right and that works in favour of the film. A few scenes in the latter half look repetitive. But the acclaimed filmmaker makes up for it with an emotional climax which leaves the viewer teary eyed.

Watch or not?

Shakuntala Devi will appeal to all sections of audience and you can enjoy watching it with your family members.

TeluguBulletin.com Rating: 3/5

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