Shakuntala Devi is a familiar name in the Indian cultural canvas. She’s the human calculator, who gold-plated her name in the Guiness Book of World Records in 1980 for multiplying two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds! She’s also one of the first people in India to theorize homosexuality in good light way back in the 1970s; a progressive figure who even ran an election against Indira Gandhi.
Vidya Balan brings her story to life in retro prints, pops of colours and symmetry, quirk and comedy. There is an element of satire too. The trailer suggests the story will meander between mathematics and motherhood. Sanya Malhotra plays her daughter. When she chides her mother for being so exceptional and difficult, Shakuntala is nonchalant, “Jab amazing ho sakti hoon, toh normal kyun banoongi?” This is about the aftermath of genius.
Starring Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh, produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions, and Vikram Malhotra, written by Anu Menon, Nayanika Mahtani and Ishita Moitra, and directed by Menon herself, this film releases on Amazon Prime Video on July 31st.