Starring: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam, Kevin McNally, Enzo Cilenti, Devika Bhise
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Biographical drama directed by Matthew Brown. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) follows the real-life story of Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), a young shipping clerk and self-taught genius, who failed out of college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics. Determined to pursue his passion despite rejection and derision from his peers, Ramanujan writes a letter to G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), an eminent British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hardy recognizes the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s raw talent and despite the skepticism of his colleagues, undertakes bringing him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored. Ramanujan fights illness and intense homesickness to formally prove his theorems so that his work will finally be seen and believed by a mathematical establishment that is not prepared for his unconventional methods.
Our Favorite Quote:
Srinivasa Ramanujan: What do you see?
Srinivasa Ramanujan: [picks up a handful of sand] Imagine if we could look so closely we could see each grain, each particle. You see there are patterns in everything.
Littlewood: [referring to Ramanujan mathematical equations] Integrals. Infinite series.
G.H. Hardy: I’ve never seen anything like them.
G.H. Hardy: [reading from Ramanujan letter] From an Indian clerk ill-educated in Madras. I would very highly value any advice you give me. Yours truly, S. Ramanujan.
Littlewood: What does the “S” stand for?
G.H. Hardy: You can ask him yourself.
Littlewood: You intend to invite him here?
Sir Francis Spring: [to Ramanujan] Letter for you, postmarked England.
Janaki: Don’t forget me.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: I could never.
Littlewood: [referring to Cambridge] Don’t be intimidated. Great knowledge comes from the humblest of origins.
G.H. Hardy: For the good of everybody you should attend some lecture.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: But I’m here to publish. The letter only contained a small sampling of my discoveries.
Littlewood: [takes Ramanujan’s notebook] This will take a lifetime.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: [takes out another notebook from his bag] Maybe two.
G.H. Hardy: We need proofs of your work.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: But they are right, sir.
Fellow: [after Ramanujan completes a mathematical equation] I hadn’t completed that proof. How do you know?
Srinivasa Ramanujan: I just do.
Fellow: You don’t pull a stunt like that in my class. Now get out!
G.H. Hardy: How do you know that theorem?
Srinivasa Ramanujan: It came to me.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: [to Hardy] These steps you want I do not know how to do.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: [to Hardy] Don’t you know what I’ve given up to be here? I have nothing!
Srinivasa Ramanujan: You wanted to know how I get my ideas. God speaks to me.
Fellow: There are no proofs! We’re just supposed to take him at his word?
G.H. Hardy: No, you’re to take him at mine.
G.H. Hardy: Why do you do it?
Srinivasa Ramanujan: Because I have to.
G.H. Hardy: There are no proofs that can determine the outcome in matters of the heart.
G.H. Hardy: We are merely explorers of infinity in the pursuit of absolute perfection.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: I owe you so much.
G.H. Hardy: No, no, no. It’s I who owe you.