Ramanujan Movie Review
Director: Gnana Rajasekaran
Cast: Abhinay Vaddi, Abbas, Suhasini Maniratnam, Kevin McGowan, Bhama, Michael Lieber
Music: Ramesh Vinayagam
Producers: Srivatsan Nadathur, Sushant Desai, Sharanyan Nadathur, Sindhu Rajasekaran
Cinematographer: Sunny Joseph
Editor: B. Lenin
National award winning filmmaker Gnana Rajasekaran, who has made bio-pics in the past like ‘Bharathi’ and ‘Periyar’, is back with ‘Ramanujan’, the true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan the Mathematical genius from small town Kumbakonam. His latest, Ramanujan, traces the short life of the Indian mathematical prodigy - a life of brilliance that would have gone unsung and wasted had it not been for an equally eminent British math professor, G.H. Hardy, at Cambridge.
Hardy recognised Srinivas Ramanujan's (played by Abhinav Vaddi, grandson of veteran stars Gemini Ganesh and Savithri) genius in numbers and invited him to work at Cambridge. Which Ramanujan did, but the food that he found unpalatable there led to malnutrition and finally tuberculosis. He died young.
The movie is a poignant look at the way a prodigy struggled and suffered in a penurious family, a mastermind whose mathematical wizardry invited ridicule and revulsion in far lesser mortals.
Rajasekaran, who also scripted the film, takes us through a linear narrative to tell us about the intelligence of boy Ramanujan as he completely foxes his school-master with a little insight into the importance of zero, and later about his frustration when he hits a wall in his quest to sink into, and shine, with numbers.
Making biopics is indeed very challenging and the director has been successful to a very large extent to bring out each and every character especially Suhasini who plays Ramanujan’s dominating mother Komalthuammal, with shades of grey and his docile young wife Janaki played by Bhama.
Nizhalgal Ravi as his father, YG Mahendran and the actor who plays JH Hardy his mentor and rest of the supporting cast are aptly cast. The movie covers the most important events in Ramanujan’s life, his stint at Cambridge University, his loneliness in an alien country, his craving for Tamil vegetarian food and his deteriorating health.
The Cambridge university scenes are beautifully shot. Abhinay Vaddi a rank newcomer as Ramanujan played the role for his resemblance in looks and build to the genius and he shines. Suhasini as Komalatammal who had a great influence in her son’s life has breathed life into her character. Bhama impresses with her innocence.
One of the major highlights of the film is Ramesh Vinayakam’s music, totally in sync with the mood of the film. The bhajan rendered by Vani Jayaram “ Narayana..” and picturised on Suhasini a music teacher is a gem. However, the movie has its weaknesses, as it moves at snail pace and needs tighter editing.
Gnana Rajasekharan has done a well-researched bio-pic on Ramanujam.. All in all it is a film that is definitely worth viewing. Finally we get to see the real story behind a legendary maths wizard