Shakuntala Devi Movie Review

2 min read

The story of a brilliant mathematician struggling to become a perfect mother!

 Shakuntala Devi
(2020) on IMDb

Starring: VidyaBalan as Shakuntala Devi, Sanya Malhotra as Anupama Banerji, Jishu Sengupta as ParitoshBanerji, Amit Sadh as Ajay Abhaya Kumar 

Directed By: Anu Menon

Release Date: 31st July 2020 

What’s it about?

Shakuntala Devi is the biopic of an extraordinary mathematician who makes efforts to balance her life as a mother and mathematician. Directed by Anu Menon, the movie is a family entertainer wrapped in an envelope of drama and feminism. She is vibrant and charming. In the movie, VidyaBalan steals the show with her excellent performance as Shakuntala Devi.


Sanya Malhotra plays Shakuntala Devi’s daughter, Anu Banerji is the narrator of the story in flashback. In the movie, we see that since her childhood she was very clear about what she wants from her life. At a very young age, she used to perform math shows in villages to earn. Then, she moved to the United States to perform several shows and competes with computers. She was also given the moniker of “Human-Computer”.

Shakuntala Devi then meets a businessman Paritosh Banerjee played by Jishu Sengupta from Calcutta. She starts her married life and a daughter is born. Here starts the conflict between her strong ambitions and motherhood. From here, the family drama focuses on a mother-daughter relationship. The supporting cast of Amit Sadh who played as the husband of Anu Banerji made an impact on the story. The movie is a clichéd drama with upbeat music that lifted the movie with energy.

“Shakuntala Devi is an uneven film with a frantically busy plot but not enough dramatic thrust.”

Anupama Chopra

How does it fare?

The film could have been impactful if her motherhood problems and career ambitions would have been solved more gracefully. The film was rushed with splendid performances of the actors that lifted the film in the eyes of the audience.

My Rating: 6/10

The movie portrayed a math wizard who was named in Guinness Book of World Records fueled with ambitions. She was also an astrologer and author of many books. Shakuntala Devi’s marriage fell apart with her relationship with her mother when she grows up. Her daughter files a criminal case against her.

The movie depicted an event in her life when she released a book called “The World of Homosexuals”. She was vocal about gay rights in the 1970s. It was also visible in the movie that she was daring and bold. Her dialogue was “Jab amazing ho sakti hoon to normal kyun bano”.


The screenplay of the movie was average. In this movie, I disliked that some aspects related to her early life and love life were rushed. It failed to create an emotional connection in the movie at some points. On the other hand, the exceptional job of embodying the talented math wizard was wonderful.

Another point that I disliked in the movie was glossy in aesthetics that negatively impacted the movie. The camerawork, costumes, and makeup were so glazed that it did not beautifully portray the challenges of her life. Besides the flaws, the story brings out the affection between a mother and the daughter with soothing background music and the catchy promotional song “Pass nahi to fail nahi”.

Final Words

The movie is a onetime watch that takes you to the journey of an amazing and intelligent lady who dared to live on her terms.

PS: Shakuntala Devi has the most brilliant posters that I have seen in a while!