Like its screenplay, The Man Who Knew Infinity’s score is essentially a “best-of-this-sort-of-thing” – twee and pseudo-inspirational, over-egged and half-baked. Most every line of dialogue is a trailer soundbite, each musical sting polished and generic. It is an eminently safe biopic dealing with genius, racism and the necessity of change.
Yet amazingly, the themes become almost new again when placed in the able hands of Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons; with assured enough direction, their touching friendship and even the awkwardly articulated spiritual strain are made truly moving. It’s that rare maths movie: a warmly-felt paean to the beauty of collaboration.
A sincere treatment with better pacing than similar films, The Man Who Knew Infinity is really at its best when showcasing its brilliant lead performers. The Ren-Irons-sance continues with aplomb.
CAST: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, Jeremy Northam, Devika Bhise, Kevin McNally
DIRECTOR: Matthew Brown
WRITERS: Matthew Brown (screenplay), Robert Kanigel (autobiography)
SYNOPSIS: The story of Srinivasa Ramanujan (Patel), a self-taught maths genius from Madras who became Cambridge University’s first Indian fellow, and his friendship and influential work alongside G.H. Hardy (Irons).