Shakuntala Devi (2020) Review- It’s not a “Normal” Biopic.


Amazon Prime presents the autobiography of world-renowned, Guinness World Records noted mathematician Shakuntala Devi played by Vidya Balan. The unique thing about this biography, which makes it stand above the many autobiographies Bollywood has given is that it is not a hagiography.

The film has beautifully shown Shakuntala with all her talents but has not left behind her warts. Her weaknesses and mistakes were also captured so perfectly that we cannot stop ourselves from connecting with the protagonist.

The movie showcases Shakuntala’s journey from a small girl in a village, where she amazes her family with her mathematical talents to a successful and famous Human-Computer. The relationship she shares with each character of the film is perfectly portrayed and similarly, each actor has played their character marvelously. The most important of these relationships and which is most highlighted in the entire movie is that she shares with her daughter. Having left her mother at a young age to go to London to pursue her dreams, we know how important it is for her to herself be a good mother, but in trying too hard to be a good mother she made many mistakes. Being in a profession, where she cannot stay in a particular place for several days Anu, her daughter (Sanya Malhotra) had to move with her. Although she was close to her literally, she became farther away emotionally. She considered her the reason for being separated from her father for 10 years.

The movie really touched the viewer’s heart when Shakuntala leaves her profession, her maths, to be with her daughter and to help her pursue her dream of redecorating the houses. Things take a sharp turn when Anu meets the man of her dreams, Ajay (Amit Sadh), and wants to leave London to be with him. This made Shakuntala devastated to see that after trying so hard to be a good mother, unlike her own, her daughter still opts to leave her, just like Shakuntala did back in the past.

Apart from all the above drama, the movie ends on a happy and satisfying note, when Anu discovers a black notebook with her childhood pics created by her mother. This takes place in an attorney’s office as her daughter has filed a criminal offense complaint against her, for confiscating her business and burying her in huge debts. This scene reunites the mother and daughter, where each accepts the other one as they are.

The film also highlights the beautiful aspects of Shakuntala’s personality, among the various responsibilities and duties she has, whether as a mother, wife or daughter, she never lost herself, never forgot to live for herself, on her own terms. Not only herself, the whole world considered her not a normal person, but an amazing person.

“Jab amazing ho sakti hoon, to normal kyu banu”

The movie is a treat for all the math enthusiasts out there, as she tells interesting facts about numbers. Shakuntala Devi is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Catch it here.

Written By – Anjali Agrawal

Also read – Shakuntala Devi Review in Hindi

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Anjali Agarwal
Anjali Agarwal
Anjali Agarwal is an Electrical Engineer, graduated from the Indian Insitute of Technology Palakkad. In her leisure time, she likes to watch films but more precisely writes her thoughts about it thus influencing others to watch more Good Content.

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