There have been rumors about various Hollywood biopics on Ramanujan over the years, most recently one starring Dev Patel as Ramanujan. I don't know if anyone of them are going forward, but the article below alludes to the one directed by Gnana Rajasekaran at the end. Hollywood primed for film on Indian math genius Ramanujan By Shilpa Jamkhandikar MUMBAI Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:42pm IST
(Reuters) - A new Hollywood film starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan will put the spotlight on the Indian math genius best known for his work on the theory of prime numbers.
Ramanujan, who died in 1920, was considered one of the brightest minds in mathematics, despite his lack of a formal education.
Patel, who caught Hollywood's eye in 2008's Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire", has been cast as the lead. Filming begins in September with a British actor playing G.H. Hardy, the mathematician who recognized Ramanujan's talent and brought him to England in 1914.
"The subject matter of Ramanujan is an Indian story but it is the story of the relationship of India and the West," the film's co-producer Edward Pressman told Reuters over the phone.
Ramanujan, who grew up in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was mostly self-taught. Hardy collaborated with him during the years of the First World War before an ailing Ramanujan returned to India.
In recent years, movies such as "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Life of Pi" that had Indian themes have resonated with global audiences.
"Things are changing, the world is changing," Pressman said. "The effect and cultural power of Indian stories can have a more international impact than they've had in the past."
The untitled film on Ramanujan is one of at least three movies announced on the mathematician's life. Filming for a separate biopic, to be made in Tamil and English, is under way in India.
How much of a life do we need to see to get a sense of the man? A biographer needn’t address this question – books are languorous affairs. But a filmmaker must pick and choose events and shape his material, especially when the material keeps us at an arm’s length. When we watch Amadeus, we are drawn into Mozart’s life because the music draws us in. In Gnana Rajasekaran’s own Bharathi, the rousing poetry drew us in. But mathematics isn’t something you can put up on screen. The director doesn’t go in for flashy filmmaking, the kind we saw in A Beautiful Mind, where the scene where the protagonist cracks a code is presented in way that makes us feel that he is in some kind of mystical communication with numbers. Here, we only see Ramanujan hunched over his papers, and that’s not enough. I don’t know what could have been done to draw us into Ramanujan’s beautiful mind, but by the end, we are left distant observers, not vicarious participants.
The film runs nearly three hours and it’s puzzling why it needed to. Did we really need two separate scenes where the professor played by Radha Ravi proclaims what a genius Ramanujan is? Did we really need two separate scenes where we’re shown that Ramanujan did not have paper to scribble his theorems on? Did we really need to be introduced to Hardy’s sister Gertrude? There appears to have been no effort to streamline the events of Ramanujan’s life. Instead of an organic narrative, we’re left with an information-dispensing device spitting out one plodding scene after another. This happened. Then that happened. Then this happened. And then that happened. The casting doesn’t help. Abhinay Vaddi was reportedly chosen because he resembles Ramanujan, but he is unable to put across a character we can root for or empathize with.
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2014 15:06:08 GMT by Prem Rogue
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