The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)


Biography, Drama


Matthew Brown




Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam, Kevin McNally, Enzo Cilenti, Arundhati Nag


It follows the life and academic career of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) during his stay at Trinity College in Cambridge. 


Although I'm not very fond of mathematics (I was good at it as school though), I still was interested in seeing The Man Who Knew Infinity for two reasons, Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. Unfortunately, I can't say I was happy with what I saw.

Based on the true story of a brilliant Indian mathematician, the story is the typical feel-good, predictable story that sees the triumph of the underdog and yet is quite engaging and managed to keep my attention throughout the film. The problem? While the overall story is okay, the development is a mess. 

It's essentially made of three relationships: the one Ramanujan has with his mentor Professor Hardy; the one he has with England; the one he has with his wife/family in India. The first one is nicely done and it feels genuine. The other two are terrible as the second fails to really convey what it meant to be Indian or a foreigner in England at the beginning of the 20th century, and the third was completely shallow and did not add anything to the film. It almost seems as if the filmmakers didn't believe the Ramanujan/Hardy relationship was able to carry the film so they filled it with some poor subplots.

The script isn't the only problem. Unfortunately, the acting is disappointing too. While Jeremy Irons does well as Professor Hardy (but the job was easy since he has a very interesting and decently written character), Dev Patel was a major disappointment. His performance as the brilliant mathematician is uneven. At times he's able to convey the struggle of the character, but most of the time he's just too cold, detached. He is basically like math.


  1. I have this in my Netflix queue but I keep bumping it down. I'll probably just remove it all together now, even though I love Patel and Irons.

    1. I'd still watch it for Irons if I were you.