The Man Who Knew Infinity

The Man Who Knew Infinity

DVD - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Follows the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor.
Audience: OFA rating: PG.
Publisher: Toronto : Mongrel Media, 2016.
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC Man
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (109 min.) : digital, sound, colour ; 12 cm
Language Note: Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 09, 2017

Rather slow moving biography drama about S. Ramanujan a little know but gifted mathematician from India, lived a short life. His work involved finding formulas for partitioning number & other unsolved mathematical problems of the time. It goes into the racial discrimination he suffered in England in being taken seriously. English academic stereo types of the early 1900's are portrayed here. At least Ramanujan & his accomplishments are being brought to public attention. His mathematical formulas are still used to this day.

Dec 06, 2017

A biopic about the little known...Srinivasa Ramanujan - a self-taught Indian Mathematician. Interesting...but a little slow...

Dec 05, 2017

This is a 2015 British biopic about the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, based on the 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel.
Growing up poor in Madras, India, Srinivasa Ramanujan earns admittance to Cambridge University during World War I, where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G. H. Hardy.
In 1976, a lost notebook was discovered containing groundbreaking formulas from the last year of Ramanujan's life.
The importance of which was compared to the discover of Beethoven's Tenth Symphony.
These formulas are being used to understand the behaviour of black holes.
Ramanujan's illness returned during his journey back to India.
After a year with his wife, Janaki, he died at the age of 32.
As was Indian custom, Janaki would never remarry.
Hardy and Littlewood would continue a collaboration which would last throughout their lives.
Their remarkable accomplishments during the five years together would inspire and influence generations of mathematicians.

Oct 25, 2017

Pretty good acting, shot on location, and good at detailing the racism present in British society at the beginning of the 20th century. Ramanujan’s story is intriguing, including the details about how his meddling mother-in-law nearly destroyed his long-distance marriage – but I found the movie frustrating because it never really explained what it was that he discovered in the realm of mathematics. Perhaps the director thought that too many technical details would detract from the story, or perhaps he thought that non-mathematicians couldn’t understand the material, even if explained. I’m no mathematician, but I would like to have at least seen a brief summary.

Oct 10, 2017

This was the moving story of the genius Indian mathematician Ramanujan, who made an enormous contribution to his field. His experience was mystical as he seemed to have a direct link to the Universal Mind.
Excellent film in every aspect, both historical and emotional in its delivery.

Sep 04, 2017

I just couldn't get into this.

Aug 16, 2017

So glad I took a chance on this DVD, the reward was brilliant. Dev Patel was excellent, the rest of the Brit cast are all greats in my eyes. The math was so beyond me, but the culture differences, the pitiful bigotry, the degradation was hard to stomach, yet so typical of the class in that era. Unfortunately much of it still exists. One of the best films I've seen in ages.

Jul 09, 2017

Slow and disappointing. Well-acted but elucidating little about either the man or the mathematics.

Jul 08, 2017

Very interesting story, with an excellent cast. The production was a bit too Hollywood for my liking, though, with the overly sentimental musical score, predictable plot points, etc. Plus I didn't like how Ramanujan's mother and wife were portrayed. That said the movie did improve in the second half.

Jun 23, 2017

This is a beautiful movie that touches on not only the importance of math discoveries, but more importantly, how different minds work in different ways and we are better off if we can try and appreciate that in others.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Oct 08, 2016

Ramanujan to Hardy: "An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God"

Oct 01, 2016

Hardy: P(4) = 5. Now, all that means is there are five ways to add up the number 4. 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, 3 + 1, 2 + 1 + 1, 2 + 2, and 4.
Littlewood: Seems simple enough.
Hardy: Yeah. So it does. But when you raise the number of P(100), there are 204,226 different combinations. Major MacMahon did it by hand. Took him weeks. And now he thinks he can figure out a formula. Plug in the number, any number, and out comes the number of partitions. Like magic.
Littlewood: I take it you have tried to crack this one before?
Hardy: It's considered impossible. Unsolvable. A bloody rabbit hole mystery of the universe.
Littlewood: Until now?

Oct 01, 2016

Hardy: You see, I'm what you call an atheist.
Ramanujan: No, sir. You believe in God. You just don't think He likes you.
Hardy: Let me ask you something. Why do you do it, any of this?
Ramanujan: Because I have to. I see it.
Hardy: Like Euler. Form for its own sake. An art unto itself. And, like all art, it reflects truth. It's the only truth I know. It's my church. And you, just as Mozart could hear an entire symphony in his head you dance with numbers to infinity. But this dance, this art, does little to endear us to certain factions who see us as mere conjurors. So if we are going to challenge areas of mathematics that are so well trod, we cannot afford to be wrong.

Oct 01, 2016

Hardy: Life for me is... It's always been mathematics.
Ramanujan: You wanted to know how I get my ideas.
Hardy: Mmm.
Ramanujan: My God. Namagiri. She speaks to me. Puts formulas on my tongue when I sleep, sometimes when I pray. Do you believe me?
Hardy: But I don't believe in God. I don't believe in anything I can't prove.
Ramanujan: Then you can't believe in me. Don't you see? An equation has no meaning to me unless it expresses a thought of God. Maybe it is better that we just remain what we were.
Hardy: When I was at school, I remember one of my chaplains saying,"You know God exists
because He's like a kite, "and you can feel the tug on the string and know that He's up there." I said, "What if there's no wind and the kite can't fly?" No, I... I can't believe in God. I don't believe
in the immemorial wisdom of the East, but I do believe in you.

Oct 01, 2016

Hardy's speech in nominating Ramanujan as a Cambridge Fellow, first ever Indian (part 2 of 2:)
Well, despite everything in my being set to the contrary, perhaps he is right. For is this not exactly our justification for pure mathematics? We are merely explorers of infinity in the pursuit of absolute perfection. We do not invent these formulae, they already exist and lie in wait for only the very brightest of minds, like Ramanujan, ever to divine and prove. So, in the end, I have been forced to consider, who are we to question Ramanujan, let alone God? Thank You.

Oct 01, 2016

Hardy's speech in nominating Ramanujan as a Cambridge Fellow, first ever Indian (part 1 of 2:)
So, now we see the work on partitions and the enormous breakthrough that has been achieved. All this, mind you, by a man whose limitations of knowledge when I met him were as startling as was its profundity. Opinions may differ as to the importance of Ramanujan's work and the influence it may or may not have on the mathematics of the future, but one gift it does show
is its profound and invincible originality. Mr. Littlewood once told me that "every positive integer is one of Ramanujan's personal friends." I believe this to be true. He told me that an equation for him had no meaning unless it expressed a thought of God.

Oct 01, 2016

1729. No, Hardy. It is a very interesting number. It is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways. (Known as the Hardy–Ramanujan number: 1729 = 1^3 + 12^3 = 9^3 + 10^3, from wikipedia.)
Hardy remembering Ramanujan:
It is difficult to put into words... What I owe Ramanujan. His originality has been a constant source of suggestion to me ever since I first met him. And his death is one of the worst blows I have ever felt. But now I say to myself when I'm depressed, and I find myself forced to listen to tiresome and pompous people, "Well, I've done something you could never have done. "I have collaborated
with both Littlewood and Ramanujan "on something like equal terms."


Add a Summary

Oct 01, 2016

The tale of a relationship between a young Indian mathematics genius, Ramanujan, and his tutor at Cambridge University, G.H. Hardy, in the years before World War I. Through their eyes the reader is taken on a journey through numbers theory.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top