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Monday, August 10, 2020

Shakuntala Devi movie release: Highlights

Here's what celebrities, fans and critics are saying about Shakuntala Devi, starring Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh and Jisshu Sengupta

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 1, 2020 9:07:21 am
shakuntala devi vidya balan review Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Starring Vidya Balan in the titular role, Shakuntala Devi is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The biopic of the famed ‘human computer’ has been directed by Anu Menon. Alongside Vidya, the film also stars Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh and Jisshu Sengupta. From the trailer, we gathered that the movie follows the professional achievements of the famed mathematician. She was a world-renowned name in the field of Mathematics and she livened up a room with her glowing personality, but the trailer also hinted that her personal life wasn’t as perfect as her professional life. It is yet to be seen how Anu Menon has balanced the biopic with the pros and cons of Shakuntala Devi’s personality.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Vidya Balan said that the biggest conflict of the film rises because of the way gender was perceived during Shakuntala Devi’s time. “Probably her biggest flaw, as a woman, was that she wanted it all. And as a woman, you are not allowed to have it all. She did not understand this difference between men and women because she did not define herself as a woman. She saw herself as a person, who happened to be a woman. This is the root of conflict in her person.” Vidya added that Shakuntala Devi is “not a puff piece.” What excited her while taking up this project was “the scope to tell Shakuntala Devi’s story as unapologetically as possible.”

Shakuntala Devi has premiered on Amazon Prime Video. Vidya Balan shared her two cents on the theater vs OTT debate and said that with new avenues coming in, “the horizon has just widened.” She said that there will be content that will be just for OTT, but “theaters will continue to survive and thrive because that community experience is unique.”

Before Shakuntala Devi, films like Gulabo Sitabo, Penguin, Law among others have already released on Amazon Prime Video. In the coming days, Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar have both decided to release a few films that were earlier meant for theaters. The other OTT releases of this week include Netflix’s Raat Akeli Hai starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte and Disney+ Hotstar’s Lootcase starring Kunal Kemmu. Vidyut Jammwal, Amit Sadh and Shruti Haasan starrer Yaara released on ZEE5 on July 30.

Live Blog

Follow all the latest updates about Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi.

18:15 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Shakuntala Devi: Our verdict

In her review, The Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta wrote, "You wish that the film stayed with Shakuntala the maths genius a little more. It would have been nice to delve into the process with which Shakuntala did what she did, even though she had no clue: numbers just spoke to her. The fact that she had political ambitions (she stood for elections, and fought Indira Gandhi in Medak for a Lok Sabha seat) is papered over briefly; a little more focus on her now-affectionate-now-thorny relationship with the father of her daughter would have shed light on why she wrote a book on homosexuality, the first of its kind in India. What made her veer towards astrology? More light on these intriguing aspects would have given us a more rounded Shakuntala." Read more

16:51 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Loved how unapologetic Shakuntala Devi was'

"#ShakuntalaDeviReview phenomenal representation of a genius and fearless woman who never backed out. I loved how unapologetic Shakuntala Devi was about her ambitions and dreams. Beautiful characterization by @vidya_balan ma'am," @monimitra1997 tweeted.

16:20 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Loved Vidya Balan'

Actor Aditi Raval has recommended her fans to watch Vidya Balan film Shakuntala Devi. Raval tweeted that she loved Vidya Balan in the film.

15:50 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Anu Menon: Vidya Balan is very similar to Shakuntala Devi

Director Anu Menon opened up on why she wanted Vidya Balan to play Shankuntala Devi. The director told indianexpress.com, “I wanted someone who could capture Shakuntala Devi’s essence. To me, that was more important than to look physically identical. What I wanted was someone who can get under her skin and get the nuances of this person. So, Vidya might not look exactly like Shakuntala, but she has that feeling of Shakuntala Devi. She has that South Indianess about her. Her attitude towards life is very similar to Shakuntala Devi. And, that has been our approach to storytelling. It’s more important to capture the attitude and essence."

15:20 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Vidya Balan is phenomenal'

"What a lovely movie! And what an amazing character, The Shakuntla Devi. @vidya_balan is as usual phenomenal in this. Great work by @sanyamalhotra07 and @TheAmitSadh too. Thanks @PrimeVideoIN for the first day show direct delivery to my living room. #ShakuntalaDevi #AmazonPrimeDay" Manik Sharma shared via Twitter.

15:05 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Vidya Balan shares her favourite Shakuntala Devi video

Vidya Balan shared a video of Shakuntala Devi on Instagram. "The original #RaniHindustani! This is arguably one of my favourite videos of Shakuntala Devi. I have gone through the archives and seen so many, but her confidence and sass in this one always make me smile," she wrote.

14:49 (IST)31 Jul 2020
A look at Shakuntala Devi's skill

Vidya Balan portrays the life of Shakuntala Devi in her recent film directed by Anu Menon.

Shakuntala Devi, also known as Human Computer, was never formally educated. Her performance in cognitive tests was not exceptional. However, even then she could multiply 13-digit numbers in seconds. How? Here's look at her skills, and what is known about how she cultivated them.

14:11 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Kudos to Shakuntala Devi team'

@aakriti0612 mentioned in a tweet, "How perfect mother doesn't exist yet every mother is perfect in her own ways #ShakuntalaDevi kudos to the team. @TheAmitSadh u never fail to spread ur charm sir & with ur beautiful smile it's like cherry on the top. Both supporting roles yet sooo Impactful @Jisshusengupta"

13:44 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Sujoy Ghosh on Shakuntala Devi

Director Sujoy Ghosh watched Shakuntala Devi on Friday. He shared, "i saw shakuntala devi last night. @vidya_balan is obviously having super fun with this one. and so is the film. great fun. and of course my bias towards @Jisshusengupta has to be mentioned :) see see"

13:27 (IST)31 Jul 2020
IE's quick take: Shankuntala Devi biopic is Anupama Banerji's love letter to her mother
13:09 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Jisshu Sengupta found Shakuntala Devi script fascinating

Jisshu Sengupta spoke to indianexpress.com about his film Shakuntala Devi, which stars Vidya Balan in the titular role.

12:49 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Umesh Shukla on Shakuntala Devi: Brilliant film

Filmmaker Umesh Shukla said Shakuntala Devi is "well director and superbly performed." In a tweet, he mentioned, "Brilliant film #ShakuntalaDeviOnPrime very well directed #AnuMenon superbly performed...dignified portrayal of mathematician #Woman by my favourite @vidya_balan Congratulations @vikramix @vivekkrishnani bravo."

12:31 (IST)31 Jul 2020
A glimpse into Sanya Malhotra's fun time during Shakuntala Devi shoot
12:13 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Don't miss this alluring saga of grit and greatness'

@twit_sumeet called Vidya Balan film Shakuntala Devi a "riveting real life story."

In a tweet, he wrote, "#ShakuntalaDevi was reborn yesterday, thanks to the amazing raconteur that @anumenon1805 is. A riveting real life story of a genius who was undeniably brilliant at solving mathematics problems and blessed with sophisticated wit. Don’t miss this alluring saga of grit n greatness."

11:52 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Shakuntala Devi is a reminder to celebrate the real you'

#ShakuntalaDevi is a such happy & an emotional ride .A reminder to celebrate the real “you” without letting the trappings of this society impact that. @vidya_balan, like Shakuntala has lived life by her rules & is such a perfect fit for this. @sanyamalhotra07‘s nuanced act is commendable," @rudrani_rudz mentioned in a tweet.

11:35 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Shakuntala Devi has a formula of protection from COVID-19'

Nagpur Rural Police shared via tweet, "#Shakuntala_Devi has a great formula of protection from covid-19. Let's apply it and feel safe."

11:23 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Parambrata wishes luck to Shakuntala Devi team

"Best wishes on the big day brother @Jisshusengupta, bested wishes to the inimitable @vidya_balan & the whole team," Bulbbul actor Parambrata tweeted.

10:55 (IST)31 Jul 2020
I am a huge Vidya Balan fan: Sanya Malhotra

Actor Sanya Malhotra, who plays Anupama Banerji in Shakuntala Devi, spoke about the Vidya Balan film.

10:36 (IST)31 Jul 2020
'Grateful to be a part of so many wonderful projects'

In another tweet, Amit Sadh expressed gratitude towards all the audience love coming his way for his three projects that have released this week - Shakuntala Devi, Avridh and Yaara.

10:26 (IST)31 Jul 2020
Thrilled to get a chance to work with her: Amit Sadh

Amit Sadh tweeted his gratitude towards being a part of Shakuntala Devi's cast. "While I am EXCITED about all my work - as a viewer, I will FIRST be watching #ShakuntalaDevi on @PrimeVideoIN because of the one and the only Vidya Balan - and my undying love for her! She is absolutely wonderful and I am thrilled to have been given a chance to work with her," he wrote.

Jisshu Sengupta, who plays Paritosh Banerji in Shakuntala Devi, spoke to indianexpress.com about the titular character and said, "It’s a fascinating journey of this woman. We don’t know how she was. We don’t know what was her relationship with her husband and daughter. When you see the film, you will know why I am saying this. People are going to know the human side of Shakuntala Devi." He added, "She was a woman ahead of her time. She was bold, brave and everything a woman can be. That was interesting. Then the way she has dealt with her relationships. People should know about her. People, who are into Mathematics, should know what she was all about. Also, working with Vidya was on my mind. I am a huge fan of Vidya so this was a great opportunity for me to work with her."

"In Paritosh Banerjee’s case, we haven’t seen him. That was a plus for me because I could do whatever I wanted to do with the character. Everything else I got to know from Anu and Vidya as they had met Shakuntala Devi’s daughter Anupama Banerjee in London. They got to know about Paritosh. Anu spoke to me at length about him. So, I learnt about his mannerism and added my own things to it," he shared about his character.

Director Anu Menon shared with indianexpress.com, "Apart from the fact that she was an amazing genius who lived an extraordinary life, the way she lived her life is a big lesson for us in today’s times. She was a woman who despite achieving so much, embraced the fact that she was not perfect. She lived life to the fullest, unapologetically on her terms, embracing the successes and failures of life."

She added, "One of the things I loved about Shakuntala Devi’s story was, she was not scared to fail. The good and the not so good existed in Shakuntala so intrinsically that you can’t love her by just loving her genius. You have to love Shakuntala for all kinds of things she did, either right or wrong. So, I think that sort of attitude is what we should celebrate. That’s what excites me as a filmmaker and that’s what excited Vidya (Balan). She has said no to many biopics in the past because it just felt not true."