Wow. What a movie!
"The Man Who Knew Infinity" is one of those movies that makes you glad you watched it. You feel more inspired and more attuned to good things. It's not pure entertainment, but it is a worthwhile movie that makes you more appreciative of math, others and the world around you.
Srinivasa Ramanujan is a self taught math genius. He sees math as a visual symphony, and he is able to solve problems and see patterns that have stumped even the most advanced mathematicians for centuries. However, he is an Indian during the days of British imperialism and few people will listen to him. He is in a dead end job, he has a wife whom he loves, but cannot support, and an overbearing mother. His is a frustrating lot in life.
But then, impossibly, Professor Hardy of Trinity College learns of Ramanujan's work and asks him to come to Cambridge to work with him. What results is one of the most remarkable partnerships in mathematical history.
I have to admit, I have never enjoyed math. But I loved "The Math Who Knew Infinity" and how it inspired me and my kids to see it's beauty. It very simply teaches about math, faithfulness and racism. But it goes much farther than that. It juxtaposes faith with proof, Britians with Indians, pride with humility, passion with discipline. It is remarkable.
Watch it. You won't regret it.
Content Review: I found this movie to be quite clean. There are some violent scenes where a man is beaten, and a few swear words, but overall, this is a great family movie for older kids. The themes especially, are excellent.
*Note: as always, please check the content of this and other movies at www.commonsensemedia.org or kids-in-mind.com before you watch it to make sure you feel it is appropriate for your family.
Family Discussion Guide
-At the beginning of the movie, Hardy uses the word "romantic". What context was he using that word in?
-How did Ramanujan see math?
-Being passionate about something makes it easier to work hard at it. What are you passionate about?
-Why did Hardy press Ramanujan so hard to write proofs for his theories? Do you agree or disagree that these were necessary?
-Why did Ramanujan's mother hide her daughter-in-law's letters?
-Do you think Ramanujan's wife would have helped or hurt his work?
-How did husband and wife stay faithful to each other? Why?
-How would you have handled the racism that Ramanujan faced?
-What did the racist acts say about the people who were unkind and what did it say about Ramanujan and how he handled it?
-It is possible to see and talk and work with people without really "seeing" them?
-Does it always take proof to believe in something?
-How did this experience change Hardy? How did it change Ramanujan?
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