Shakuntala Devi (2020): Film Review – MustFrills

Shakuntala Devi (2020): Film Review

Shakuntala Devi (2020): Film Review

In line with the new education policy in India, here comes the bolt from the blue, a biographical movie on Shakuntala Devi, known as human computer, a genius mathematician from India without any formal education. Shakuntala Devi was born on November 4, 1929 in Bangalore. Her ability to do mathematical calculations were discovered early in life and motivated her father to do shows for money. Later she travelled all over the world to showcase her talent. She registered her name in Guinness Book of World records in 1982 when she correctly answered multiplication of two random 13 digit numbers in 28 seconds.

Taking a biographical view, the film is focused on the personal and professional life of Shakuntala Devi. Vidya Balan portrays her beautifully with emotions and drama which is part of show business. She shines in most of the scenes. It will be a treat to watch her especially by her fans.


The film is produced by Sony pictures and Vikram Malhotra with a budget of INR 25 crores and released on Amazon Prime on 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. The film is directed by Anu Menon of web series “four more shots please” fame. She has tried to balance the film between personal and professional but it seems the genius side of Shakuntala Devi is not represented well. More focus could have been on her professional achievements. It could have been a motivational movie. Cinematography by Keiko Nakahara is very soothing. The editing by Antara Lahiri is praiseworthy. The music score by Karan Kulkarni is flat.

Sanya Malhotra as the daughter Anu seems doing overacting which irritates. Amit Sadh is a waste. He had nothing much to do. All other actors are just okay. Vidya Balan carries the film on her shoulder as the protagonist, just like real Shakuntala Devi. She is bold and bindaas and lives the life at her own terms.

A family movie with bits of comedy. One time watch for Vidya Balan.

Rating: 3 out of 5

RS Shandilya

शकुंतला देवी (2020): फिल्म समीक्षा