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Monday, April 12, 2021

Shakuntala Devi Review: Vidya Balan is what will keep you hooked until the end

Directed by Anu Menon, Shakuntala Devi, featuring Vidya Balan released midnight on Prime Video. Though not a biopic, the Shakuntala Devi review looks at it with more lenses than just one. At a time when there are women-centric films being made, the movie is definitely one to be celebrated.

Based on the story of a Human-computer, Shakuntala Devi, while the lady tries to drive stereotypes away, the movie imposes them further. While it is not our favourite thing about the film, it is narrated from her daughter Anupama’s pov. Hence, the movie does not focus on just the story it is supposed to say.

While we all got a glimpse of the film’s overview courtesy the trailer, it does have its own loopholes. Talk about the Shakuntala Devi review, and you want to believe in the scene where she says ‘jab amazing ho sakti hoon toh normal kyu banu?’ However, what happens during the movie is too cliche to rise above that normal in multiple senses.

With the focus on her marriage, motherhood, among other things, it is more like maths is stuffed into it than the other way round. None the less, we must not forget that there is a lot of fiction involved. And, for more reasons than one, that is enough to create problems.

Watch the trailer here:

Vidya, as Shakuntala Devi is a treat to the eyes and we couldn’t have got a better actor. With her, it is like giving her a mould and she will blend in. While the film has its cliches, a cheerful character like hers is one that must be celebrated. The movie is a celebration of her, and this Shakuntala Devi review, just few words to admire that.

Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta, among other actors, also play a fair role in the story. Now, for someone who has always spoken about the male gaze, this movie does seem to turn it around. However, the context does not remain the same. For a film that has a female lead, and probably the second lead too, the men don’t play significant roles in the journey.

A question that also has been doing the rounds is just how could the makers not focus enough on the book she wrote on homosexuality. Or, for that matter, a lot of her career aspects were rather toned down to make her personal issues bigger. And that is where all our problems lay.

All in all, if I were telling you what sums ups this Shakuntala Devi review, I’d say this is what sweet disappointment looks like. The movie had the potential to touch the stars with its character, but it didn’t have enough fuel for it.

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S.J
There is no such thing as enough of reading and writing, or so I believe. While everything else might cause saturation, words always come to the rescue. A writer for a major part of my life, I take things as they come, but not without a pen and paper.

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