Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi based on the life of the mathematician finally released on Amazon Prime Video. If you haven’t had a chance to catch it yet, here are reasons you should be watching it over the weekend. 

1. Shakuntala’s struggles as an independent woman put things in perspective 

‘Why do men always want women to need them?’ Shakuntala repeats as she finds the men she loves leaving her life, time and again. Just because they think she doesn’t ‘need’ them anymore. Her independence becomes the reason she’s constantly left alone. 

From her taking tours across the world, leaving her daughter in her husband’s care. And then being questioned for being an unfit mother, Shakuntala’s story sheds light on how an independent woman is often told that she can’t have it all. 


2. You get a chance to experience Shakuntala Devi’s brilliance 

Though few, the movie does give you moments of Shakuntala Devi’s brilliance. The first time she finds out she is a genius, when she breaks the world record and when she gets dubbed as ‘The human computer.’ 

The Week

3. Jisshu Sengupta is a delight to watch on-screen

We would have loved more of him, but his role as a father and husband stole the show even with limited screen time. His character was quite layered, from a man who is willing to do anything to make Shakuntala’s dreams come true. To a husband who wants her back to take care of her daughter. He is a great father, constantly doting on his daughter. But he is also a husband who decided that ‘To love Shakuntala is to set her free.’ 

Indian Express

4. The mother-daughter moments are adorable 

While we’re used to seeing mother-son and father-daughter moments on-screen, this film captures the bond mothers and their daughters share. From Shakuntala’s strained relationship with her mother who never said anything, to her daughter, Anupama’s relationship with her – a mother who says exactly what’s on her mind. 

‘I will never be like her’ forms the foundation of both these relationships as daughters struggle to break away from their mother’s identities. Only to realise that their mothers were doing their best under the circumstances. 

Hindustan Times

5. It’s the story of a woman, not a mathematician 

You might go in expecting a biography of Shakuntala Devi – the mathematician but instead you find yourself watching her emotional turmoil as she finds herself constantly abandoned. From Javier to her husband, and even her daughter, people leave. Men, because she always puts math first and then her daughter because she couldn’t bear to part with her. 

Indian Express

6. The film shows you what a healthy relationship looks like

Even though you spend most of the film watching Shakuntala’s strained relationships, the understanding Anupama, played by Sanya Malhotra and her husband, Ajay Abhaya Kumar played by Amit Sadh share warms your heart. 

From her decision to not want kids, to him respecting her career in every way, the movie takes time out to show you a healthy relationship that doesn’t break. Even when Shakuntala Devi sells everything Anupama owns, Ajay’s calm and composed rational attitude serves as a refreshing change. 


The film is available on Amazon Prime Video from July 31st.