The story of Ramanujan can be found in almost every Indian
household. It's not the story of a genius, but one about how we
treat a genius, how we want to change a genius into an ordinary
man, how we expect a genius to be jack of all trades; master of
none, how we want to prove that a genius is equivalent to being
crazy and how we fail to celebrate a genius.
That Ramanujan is a mathematics wizard is a known fact, but did you know that he struggled to earn two square meals a day for many years in his life because he couldn't earn a suitable job. But the problem was not with a suitable job, it was with those people who failed to understand him, his unmatchable intellect and talent.
The problem started from his family. All that his father wanted
from Ramanujan was a college degree, a secure job that will relieve
him off the responsibilities of a breadwinner for the
Not surprising. Because in the country, it's often noticed that
once a person turns 60, he wants to retire. Ramanujan's father was
no different. He least cared about his son's outstanding talent
with the numbers. In the high school, Ramanujan was denied
scholarship. He was told that the management is happy with mediocre
students in all subjects, instead of a genius in one. He faces
similar reaction from mostly everybody around him, except a few who
truly treat Ramanujan as a genius.
These aforementioned moments from the initial years of Srinivasa
Ramanujan make up for an inspiring story and provided if one knew
how to package them. National award-winning filmmaker Gnana
Rajasekaran certainly knows the art and succeeds narrating an
inspiring tale, but his work doesn't resonate deep within.
This is so because the director merely recreates several
important episodes from Ramanujan's life - from his school-going
days to the minutes leading up to his death at 32 - on the screen
while ignoring the need to build a screenplay to keep the viewers
Series Of Tragic Episodes
One tragic episode after another makes viewers feels sorry and
miserable for Ramanujan. The highlight of the film is that it has a
talented debutant playing Ramanujan to the hilt. You could see
Ramanujan in Abhinay, literally, and his portrayal of the genius is
Suhasini Maniratnam as his over-protective mother, which she
pulls off with aplomb, fittingly supports him. You can find shades
of grey in Suhasini's role and some sarcasm too, but she's the way
she is for a reason and when that's finally revealed, you empathize
Other notable performances come from Nizhagal Ravi and Y Gee
Mahendran. While efforts are taken to portray Ramanujan as a
genius, who is rejected by the society, there is also a mention
that he hallucinates regularly.
In an important scene, in Cambridge University, students of
Professor Hardy, ask him why he helps Ramanujan who believes that
god gives answers to his mathematical questions to him. To which,
Hardy replies that it's that belief that has kept the genius in him
alive and therefore he doesn't want to disturb it.
It's a brilliant scene because beliefs are what we made of, and when that's broken we become hollow inside.
Of the few things to like about Ramanujan, Ramesh Vinayakam's
music is life affirming. It is in sync with the era in which the
film is set, oscillating between classical music and tunes of
A refreshing bhajan by Vani Jayaram in the beginning is one of
the best tracks of the album. With tighter editing, Ramanujan
would've been engaging despite its sluggish narrative.