You Already Know The Man Who Knew Infinity

A Math Biopic, by the Numbers


Treating Ramanujan as a mystic savant isn't really all that far of. Not from the perspective of "oriental wisdoms" or whatever, but simply because his genius was so far out there, he would have appeared that way to the rest of us.

A common anecdote was of him in hospital (I think) when Hardy went to visit. Hardy mentioned his cab number, 1729, and Ramanujan busts out instantly that it's a fascinating number because it's the smallest sum of two cubes that can be written as a different sum of two cubes.

Whether he'd doodled that out in book margins before or that occurred to him on the spot, he was a smarter man than almost everyone.

(I have no idea how the film presents him. I assume at least as many liberties are taken as were with Beautiful Mind, but if it inserts mathematics into the pedestrian life, I'm all for it.)
Has there ever been a good biopic? All the ones I've seen, all the way back to Gandhi, felt boring and totally predictable.
My dad used to tell me Ramanujan's story as one of the great mathematical tragedies, and a warning against polished rice.
Did Lannamann actually watch the movie? His review is shallow, as if he only had read a plot synopsis. Born into poverty, a deeply spiritual mathematical genius manages to have a small portion of his discoveries published, despite the bigotry, racism, arrogance, and ignorance of British academia and the caste system in India. The greatest tragedy was that, even after his genius was recognized and minimally published, he died at 32 from TB, partially because of malnutrition while in England (because vegetarianism was just as unthinkable as was brilliance in a self-taught poor man of color). Imagine what advances we'd make in the sciences if all were allowed the same educational opportunities.